Chidambaram to be produced before Delhi court shortly

New Delhi (IANS) Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will shortly be produced before Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court after he was arrested by the CBI on Thursday in INX media case.

He is likely to be produced before Special MP MLA Judge Anil Kumar Kuhad later in the day.

After the dramatic sequence of events on Wednesday evening that saw the arrest of the senior Congress leader, Chidambaram is said to have spent an almost sleepless night at the agency headquarter. He was quizzed on Thursday about his involvement in the money laundering and corruption related to the INX Media case.

Officials close to the investigation, requesting anonymity, said that Chidambaram's formal questioning started after 12 a.m. with CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla himself present in the headquarter along with all the top agency officials. Most of Chidambaram's answers have been "ambiguous", many not "clear" and some "unanswerable".

The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in both CBI and ED case pertaining to the INX Media case.

Justice Sunil Gaur while dismissing the bail, said, "Applying the afore-noted dictum to the instant case, this Court finds that not naming of Chidambaram in FIR, is inconsequential, as petitioner has been projected to be the main accused on whose dictates the offense of this magnitude could be committed."

Justice Gaur further observed, "The gravity of the offense committed in the instant case amply justifies denial of pre-arrest bail to the petitioner. Grant of pre-arrest bail in a serious matter like instant one to an accused simply on the ground that investigation is complete and charge-sheet has been filed, would defeat the ends of justice."

"Chidambaram is a sitting member of Parliament, would not justify granting of pre-arrest bail to petitioner in this sensitive case...Petitioner is a member of legal fraternity too. But this by itself does not and cannot justify concession of pre-arrest bail to him," the order said

The case relates to an FIR registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017, over alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance provided to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

The ED had lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.

The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI are probing how Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram managed to get FIPB clearance in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister.

Karti was arrested on February 28, 2018, by the CBI for allegedly accepting money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media. He was later granted bail.

His chartered accountant, S.Bhaskararaman, was also arrested and released on bail later.

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