Home States Delhi INX Media case: Delhi HC grants bail to Karti Chidambaram

INX Media case: Delhi HC grants bail to Karti Chidambaram

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(G.N.S) Dt. 23
New Delhi
The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media corruption case. Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI on his return from the United Kingdom, and his 12-day judicial custody was to expire tomorrow in the case. The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media case. Karti has to furnish a bail bond of Rs 10 lakh. The order was delivered by Justice S P Garg who had reserved his verdict on March 16 after hearing arguments on behalf of Karti and the CBI which had opposed granting of relief to him.
Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI on his return from the United Kingdom, and his 12-day judicial custody was to expire tomorrow in the case.
Justice S P Garg directed him to furnish a surety of Rs 10 lakh and imposed additional conditions including that he will seek prior permission of the CBI if he wants to leave the country.
The CBI had earlier contended that bail should not be granted to Karti Chidambaram as he has already destroyed evidence in the case and was an “influential” person. Karti’s counsel, however, argued that no case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was made out against him since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had neither questioned any public servant nor made them an accused in the matter.
Denying allegations of tampering evidence, Karti’s counsel told the court that when the CBI had not sought his further custodial interrogation, there was no reason for him to be kept in judicial custody. His lawyers also pointed out that no one else has been arrested in the case.
His passport is already deposited with the authorities, his lawyers had earlier told the court. The court also said that while out on bail, Karti will not tamper with any evidence in the case. The CBI had opposed his bail plea on the grounds that he has “already destroyed evidence” in the case and was an “influential” person.
Karti’s counsel also claimed that the CBI was trying to connect him to a private company, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, which had received an alleged bribe of Rs 10 lakh despite not being related to it. The CBI had initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as a bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. It had later revised the figure to $1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.5 crore in 2007).
He was arrested from Chennai in connection with an FIR lodged on May 15 last year, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for receiving funds of about Rs 305 crore from overseas in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister.
The CBI had initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as a bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. It had later revised the figure to USD 1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.5 crore in 2007).
The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered Karti’s arrest, was based on a statement of Indrani Mukerjea, former director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under Section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate on February 17. Indrani is currently lodged in a Mumbai prison in connection with the case of murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
In the separate money laundering case arising out of the corruption matter, the high court had on March 9 directed the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest or take any coercive action against Karti.
The Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government said that narco analysis Karti Chidambaram could be conducted at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in his state, provided the Modi government wished so. Earlier, the CBI had approached a court in Delhi seeking a narco-analysis test on Karti to ascertain certain facts in the INX Media case.
The case — being probed by the CBI — pertains to alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving funds close to Rs 305 crore from overseas when Karti’s father was Union finance minister. On February 28, Karti Chidambaram had been arrested by from Chennai following his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year.
In the separate money laundering case arising out of the corruption matter, the Delhi HC had on March 9 directed the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest or take any coercive action against Karti. The protection was later extended by the court till March 22. Subsequently, the Supreme Court had transferred the ED case to itself.
The Supreme Court will hear the ED’s plea against the Delhi High Court order on Karti Chidambaram in the money laundering case arising out of the INX Media matter on March 15. On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order, which had granted relief to Karti Chidambaram. Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the probe agency, mentioned the ED’s appeal for urgent hearing. On March 9, the Delhi High Court gave Karti Chidambaram a breather in a money laundering case and restrained the ED from arresting him till March 20.

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