New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the bail plea of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, observing that he is likely to “influence the witnesses” in the INX Media case.
“This Court cannot dispute the fact that the petitioner has been a strong Finance Minister and Home Minister and presently, Member of Indian Parliament. He is a respectable member of the Bar Association of Supreme Court of India,” the court said.
“He has long standing in the BAR as a Senior Advocate. He has deep roots in the Indian society and may be some connections abroad. But, the fact that he will not influence the witnesses directly or indirectly, cannot be ruled out,” said Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, while dismissing Chidambaram’s bail plea.
The court, however, ruled that there is no risk of Chidambaram fleeing and is not likely to tamper with the evidence.
“It is also on record that large sums of money has come into the companies owned and /or controlled by the co-conspirator – Karti P.A. Chidambaram during the relevant period for the favours shown by the petitioner to INX Media. It is also on record that no services were rendered by these companies owned and controlled by the petitioner and Karti P.A Chidambaram to the companies from where the huge sums of money is received,” the court observed.
The investigations have also revealed that the jailed duo of Indrani and Peter Mukerjea met Chidambaram even before the filing of application for grant of the erstwhile Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media.
“During which (meeting) the petitioner assured them regarding the FIPB approval and in lieu thereof, directed that the business interests of his son Karti Chidambaram, who is also an accused, should be taken care of and CERTAIN overseas transactions should made in his favour. It is also on the record that illegal gratification has been paid by and through other companies by Indrani and Peter Mukherjee controlled and owned by the co-conspirator and co-accused Karti P. Chidambaram,” the order said.
Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the INX Media 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 Enforcement Directorate too has filed a money laundering case against Chidambaram.