With the Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court in the money laundering cases related to the INX Media scandal. The case is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“Both the applications are dismissed,” Justice Sunil Gaur of the high court declared. The court rejected the former minister’s request to give him three days interim protection from arrest to go in appeal.
The INX media case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the INX media for receiving overseas funds when Chidambaram was the finance minister. Both the probe agencies had contended that FIPB clearance was granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.
ED said that the companies in which money was transferred are directly or indirectly controlled by Chidambaram’s son, Karti, and they have a reason to believe that the FIPB approval was granted to INX Media on his son’s intervention.
The high court had on July 25, 2018 granted interim protection from arrest to Chidambaram in both the cases and it was extended from time to time.
The senior Congress leader’s role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had in 2018 lodged the money laundering case in this regard.
Chidambaram’s petition had said that though no summons had ever been served on him by the ED in this case, he had an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the CBI, which was investigating the scheduled offence.
—India Legal Bureau