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INX MEDIA CASE: SC DISMISSES P CHIDAMBARAM'S ANTICIPATORY BAIL PLEA

Team SoOLEGAL 5 Sep 2019 12:38pm

INX MEDIA CASE: SC DISMISSES P CHIDAMBARAM'S ANTICIPATORY BAIL PLEA

In a major setback to the Former Union Finance Minister and Senior Advocate P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on thursday dismissed the Anticipatory Bail Application filed by him in the INX Media Money Laundering Case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.


The Former Union Finance Minister and Senior Congress Leader had challenged the order passed by Delhi High Court on 20th August 2019 thereby dismissing his anticipatory bail plea. Chidambaram was then arrested on 21st August by the CBI from his jorbagh residence and has been in CBI custody since then.


A bench comprising of Justices R Bhanumati and A S Bopanna while refusing the pre-arrest bail plea of Chidambaram, held that "Anticipatory bail cannot be granted as a matter of right. It has to be exercised sparingly, especially in cases of economic offences, which constitutes a class apart."


The Apex Court also refused another plea raised by Chidambaram's counsel, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, for directing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provide the accused with all the material collected by them and transcripts of his questioning conducted by the top agency during the interrogation.


The Court further stated that "the present case is not fit for grant of anticipatory bail at this stage as the same could hamper the ongoing investigation. The Investigating agency has to be given enough freedom to probe. Accused may move regular bail before the concerned trial court."


The Court held that grant of anticipatory bail under section 438 Cr.P.C has to be exercised only in exceptional cases. The right to anticipatory bail cannot be a subject matter of fundamental right under Article 32," the Court added.


The INX Media case is related to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given by P. Chidambaram in 2007 to media group INX Media receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 307 crore. P. Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister in 2007 during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government when the clearance was given by him.

The Income Tax department handed over the case to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which in 2017 registered a money laundering case against INX Media and others for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations.



Tagged: PChidambaram   Supreme Court   INX Media   Anticipatory Bail   Enforcement Directorate(ED)  
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