Delhi High court yesterday denied anticipatory bail to P. Chidambaram in INX media case. Soon after, the CBI left a notice at his house to appear within two hours of seeing it. His lawyers have questioned the legality of the notice and postponed arrest for now. Chidambaram has moved the Supreme Court challenging the HC’s denial of anticipatory bail.
Delhi High Court’s verbatim observation was: “Preposterous to say prosecution of Chidambaram is baseless, politically motivated and act of vendetta… It is a classic case of money laundering. The twin factors which have weighed to deny pre arrest bail to Petitioner are gravity of offense and evasive replies of the Petitioner to questions put to him while he was under protective cover.”
Court held that the “gravity of offence committed in this case justify denial of pre arrest bail.”
Justice Sunil Gaur said, “The facts persuade me to decline pre-arrest bail to Petitioner while refraining to comment on merits of the case.”
He observed that it cannot be forgotten that the petitioner was the FM at the relevant time and he had given FDI clearances to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 Crore. Simply because he is a MP would not justify grant of pre arrest bail to him.
Economic offence constitute a class part and need to be visited with a different approach in matter of bail. Taking note of huge magnitude of conspiracy angle qua petitioner, it would be pre mature to jump to a conclusion that provisions of PMLA would not imply.
Facts of the case prima facie reveal that petitioner is the king pin i,e. the key conspirator in this case.
Court also observed that law enforcing agencies cannot be made ineffective by putting legal obstacles of offences in question.
It was pertinently observed that the economic crimes of such mammoth scale are craftly planned and executed. This grant of bail in cases like instant one will send a wrong message to the society
Chidambaram has also challenged the notice issued by CBI which is likely to be heard before the Supreme Court of India.
–India Legal Bureau