SC grants bail to P Chidambaram in INX media case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

A Bench of Justice R Banumathi, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy set aside the Delhi High Court's order which had refused to grant bail to Chidambaram.

The top court observed that Chidambaram shall not tamper with evidence and not influence the witness. He shall not give a press interview and not make public statements with regard to this case.

Chidambaram was also directed to furnish bail bond of Rs 2 lakh plus two sureties of same amount. Supreme says Chidambaram can't travel abroad without court permission.

On November 28, the top court had reserved the order on the petition filed by former finance minister Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi had reserved the order after hearing lawyers appearing for Chidambaram and the ED.

The apex court directed the Registry to accept three sets of sealed covers from the ED and keep them in safe custody for the perusal of the court.

The High Court had, on November 15, dismissed his bail plea and observed that prima facie allegations against him were serious in nature and he played an "active and key role" in the offense.

Chidambaram sought bail in a case pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as the finance minister.

CBI had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Later that year, the ED also lodged a money laundering case.

The Congress leader was first arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later. He was arrested by the ED in the money laundering case on October 16.

(Inputs from ANI)

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