The Delhi High Court has dismissed yet another bail application of senior Congress leader and accused in INX Media scam P Chidambaram. The bail has been denied in the case filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media transactions.
In a scathing statement, the Delhi High Court, while dismissing P Chidambaram’s bail plea said that prima facie, the allegations against Chidambaram were serious in nature and that there is evidence to show that he played a ‘key and active role’.
Observing that grant of bail in the case would send a wrong message, Court states that it is not inclined to give any relief to P Chidambaram.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) November 15, 2019
While the Court did say that Chidambaram is not at flight risk and since the case is already being filed, he cannot tamper with witnesses either, the High Court went on to dismiss the bail plea saying that Chidambaram is accused of serious financial wrong-doing and such cases need to be dealt with strictly by the Court.
Interestingly, the High Court observed that granting bail to senior Congress leader and scam accused P Chidambaram would send the wrong message to society. The High Court observed that the entire community would be aggrieved if such serious offenders are let off by the Court.
While the bail proceedings were on, SG Tushar Mehta presented a letter given by one of the witnesses, in a sealed cover. Justice Kait had asked the SG to show statements of witnesses that suggest Chidambaram tried to influence the witnesses.
SG Mehta also said that there are three other witnesses whom Chidambaram tried to influence and ‘win over’.
While SG Tushar Mehta made these arguments, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that accused tampering with witnesses while in custody is a ‘rarest of rare’ case.
The court cited arguments made by SG Tushar Mehta on shell companies abroad, generation of fake invoices by the companies controlled by Karti and layering of money in bank accounts, to opine that the allegations against the Petitioner are prima facie serious, hence relief in the form of bail cannot be warranted.
On October 18, the CBI had submitted charge sheet against Chidambaram, his son Karti, former INX Media head Peter Mukherjee and eleven others for offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under Sections 120B, 420, 468, 471 of Indian Penal Code and offences under Sections 9 and 13(1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.