P Chidambaram
P Chidambaram

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday termed the anticipatory bail granted to Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram by the trial court in the Aircel-Maxis case as 'unwarranted'.

In its plea to the Delhi High Court challenging the anticipatory bail of the father-son duo, the ED said the pre-arrest bail to Chidambaram and his son was 'unwarranted' and the trial court's finding that the offence was not grave enough was completely "perverse and untenable" in law.

It said that the position of Chidambaram and Karti that they are members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha respectively cannot be a legally tenable ground to grant them anticipatory bail.

The ED asked the Delhi High Court to set aside the trial court's order and cancel the anticipatory bail of the duo and said that the trial court failed to appreciate that the custodial interrogation of the accused was required.

The probe agency said that they both remained evasive during the investigation."There is a likelihood that the accused could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses," it said.

Earlier in the day, the probe agency filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the order of the trial court, which granted anticipatory bail to Chidambaram and Karti.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in granting a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The approval was allegedly granted in 2006 when Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.A Special Court had, on September 5, granted anticipatory bail to the duo in the case observing that the entire evidence related to the commission of the crime is "documentary in nature and not liable to be tampered with" by both the accused.

The court said that since both the accused are the lawmakers, there is "no apparent possibility of the accused fleeing from justice." "Also, there is no possibility of the accused committing any similar crime again as they are not holding any official position in the government at present. The witnesses are also from DoT, Ministry of Finance and banks and as such, there is no possibility of them being threatened or influenced by any of the accused," the court had stated.

Chidambaram is also an accused in the INX Media case. He is in judicial custody in Tihar jail till October 21.The case pertains to an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 by Chidambaram when he was the Union Finance Minister.

The ED is investigating the alleged offence of money laundering that arose out of the FIR.

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