There seems to be no respite for the Congress-era finance minister P Chidambaram who is lodged in Tihar Jail until October 3, as the Delhi High Court today rejects his bail plea in the INX Media corruption case. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, hearing the petition, reserved the order after the lawyers from both sides concluded their arguments.
According to reports, the bail has been denied since the investigation is in the advance stage and based on the material proof provided to the court by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court was also of the view that being a member of the Bar and of Parliament, “there is a chance that he may influence the witnesses”.
During the course of hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated, “We are at a stage where we have exposed our evidence to him as we have confronted the accused and hence, the risk of tampering and influencing is much higher.”
He submitted, “Some people are in so powerful position that their mere presence can influence the witnesses.”
“To say that I am a responsible and respected citizen is not an argument altogether. Those who have fleeced the country are the ones who are respected and responsible and having a business empire and what not,” the Solicitor General argued.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidambaram opposed the claims of the prosecution and said that Chidambaram is not at flight risk, there is no evidence of him tampering with evidence. However, the Delhi HC quashed Sibal’s claims and rejected Chidambaram’s bail plea.
Chidambaram is currently held under judicial custody in Tihar Jail for his alleged role of misusing his cabinet position to grant several clearances to the INX Media house while he was the finance minister in the UPA era. Chidambaram had earlier gone on great lengths to first evade the CBI arrest and then desperately try to skirt his judicial custody in Tihar Jail. P Chidambaram had earlier sought protection from arrest by the ED but the Supreme Court had then turned down his anticipatory bail application.