In the latest development in INX Media graft case, the Delhi High Court on Thursday granted interim protection to the former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram from arrest by CBI till July 3. Meanwhile, Justice AK Pathak asked the senior Congress leader to join and cooperate in the probe if called by the CBI.
The court also sought the investigating agency’s response on the Congress leader’s anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on July 3.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, opposed the anticipatory bail plea saying he was merely called for questioning
Chidambaram on Wednesday had rushed a Delhi court and moved his anticipatory bail plea, seeking protection from arrest in Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. The court directed Chidambaram to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as already summoned by the agency.
The court, which issued the notice the ED seeking its reply by June 5, also directed agency not to take any coercive measure against Chidambaram till then.
P Chidambaram’s role has come under scanner in the decade-old alleged irregularity case including Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-1 regime that Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance was given to the two ventures.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) have alleged financial irregularities in the transactions and the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act.
Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was also arrested in the matter for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case. The other accused in the case include then INX Media Director Indrani Mukerjea and then INX News Director Peter Mukerjea.
(With inputs from PTI)