The Congress-era finance minister P Chidambaram currently lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case defended himself in an affidavit in the Delhi High Court opposing CBI’s stand on his bail plea by saying that he did not use the office of the finance minister for personal gain.
In the affidavit, the Congress leader stated that he’s a sitting member of Parliament and no financial loss to the exchequer has been shown in the INX media case. “I am a respected member of Parliament and a responsible citizen of this country”, says the former Finance Minister as he opposed CBI’s stand that he is at “flight risk”.
The CBI had on Friday filed its counter affidavit opposing the bail application sought by former Union Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case and stated that the gravity of the offence committed by Chidambaram does not entitle him to bail.
The agency has claimed that it has overwhelming evidence against Chidambaram and that grant of relief to him would set the wrong precedent in corruption matters as it was allegedly a clear case of betrayal of trust.
It furthered that Chidambaram is a “flight risk” as evidence from his conduct of evading the summons.
Chidambaram’s bail plea was heard today in the Delhi High Court. Chidambaram, currently lodged in Tihar jail, in his petition has alleged that the criminal proceedings against him were “mala fide” and borne out of “political vendetta”.
In his bail plea, Chidambaram told Delhi High Court that there are no allegations or evidence against him suggesting that he was involved in the INX Media case. “This is an offence of 2007. The FIR was filed in 2017. I am not named as an accused in the FIR. No allegations have been made against me. I moved anticipatory bail in the High Court and was granted interim relief,” Chidambaram told the court.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram’s lawyer Kapil Sibal also told the court that the former finance minister is “a law-abiding citizen”.
In a rejoinder to CBI’s reply on his bail plea, Chidambaram said that a lookout circular (LOC) has already been issued against him and it is preposterous to allege that he is a flight risk and can evade the process of law.
The UPA-era finance minister P Chidambaram whose judicial custody was expiring on 19th September 2019, was produced before the court and the court granted an extension of Chidambaram’s judicial remand till October 3. The senior Congress politician is accused of misusing his position while he was the finance minister of India and granting illegal clearances to the INX Media.
The lawyer duo-Kapil Sibal and Dr AM Singhvi who are representing Chidambaram have been trying to seek bail for the Congress leader one pretext or the other but have failed in doing so.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in connection with the INX Media case on August 21, a day after the Delhi High Court denied his anticipatory bail petition and observed that Chidambaram might be the ‘kingpin’ of the INX Media scam. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought his arrest in the case. He was sent to on August 22 and subsequently.
The Delhi High Court will continue to hear the arguments in former Finance Minister and Senior Advocate P Chidambaram bail plea in the INX Media case on Tuesday, September 24.