New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday told the Delhi High Court that “certain evidence relating to the meeting between Chidambarams and Mukerjeas has been destroyed”.
The court was hearing the arguments on the bail plea filed by former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram in the CBI case related to INX Media, once promoted jointly by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
“During investigation, it has come up that Indrani and Peter Mukerjea along with some other people met P. Chidambaram. However, the records of the visitors register were destroyed,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told Justice Suresh Kumar Kait.
Mehta further claimed that the though the hotel visitor register has been destroyed, the details of the car by which the Mukerjeas went for the meeting with the petitioner is secure with the agency.
The agency also told the court that Indrani Mukerjea in her statement before the Magistrate said that she and her husband went to meet Chidambaram at his office where discussions were held to grant the erstwhile Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media and it was conveyed to them that they will have to “take care of his son”.
Opposing the claims of the agency, senior advocate Kapil Sibal from Chidambaram’s legal team contended: “Hundreds of delegations call on the Finance Minister. I have no recollection of an INX Media delegation calling on me. Only the Visitors Log can confirm the fact. I will go by the entry in the Visitors’ Log. I am certain that I had never met Indrani at any place.”
“Sufficient evidence has come on record that the peititoner is using his position to influence the witness. Indrani is not the only one who has given a Section 164 statement, there is another witness,” the agency claimed further.
In an affidavit filed before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, Chidambaram’s counsels on Wednesday claimed: “The said documents have been obtained by the Petitioner from his son and wife.”
The affidavit further stated that the government documents in question were a part of the Relied Upon Documents (RUD) filed by the ED in the proceedings initiated before the Adjudicating Authority in which Karti and Nalini were made defendants.
The court had on Tuesday asked Chidambaram to file an affidavit stating the source of the documents relating to the approval which were being referred to by his lawyers during the hearing of his bail plea.
Chidambaram’s legal team had also stated that denial of bail to their client would result in his “undertrial incarceration without conviction”
The agency had contended that there was sufficient evidence on record which revealed the role of the ex-Finance Minister in the INX Media case.
The agency said that if Chidambaram was released on bail, he would ensure that the crucial details pertaining to the case were not accessed by the probe agencies.
Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.
The ED too has filed a money laundering case against Chidambaram in this regard in 2017.