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Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s stay in Tihar jail has just got longer.

When Chidambaram’s bail application came up in Supreme Court today, the bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, A.S. Bopanna, and Hrishikesh Roy sought the Enforcement Directorate’s counter affidavit on November 26. The matter relates to the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the INX Media for receiving foreign investment to the tune of Rs.305 crores against approved inflow of Rs.4.62 crores.

The bench heard Sr. Adv. Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s argument that Mr. Chidambaram is 74 years old and has been in custody for 91 days now.

Next, Sr Adv. Kapil Sibal argued that the triple test of bail is in favour of petitioner. He can neither tamper evidence nor influence any witness.

Ld. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pleaded that they will file counter affidavit by November 26.

Court after listening to both parties fixed November 26 for filing of counter affidavit by respondent. The next date of hearing shall be fixed after that.

Delhi High Court had dismissed the bail application on November 15, following which Sr. Adv. Kapil Sibal mentioned the appeal in Supreme Court before the Chief Justice Bobde on Monday, after his oath ceremony that morning.

The High Court’s dismissal of his bail application was on the ground that the allegations are serious in nature and that there was prima facie evidence to show that Mr. Chidambaram had played a key and active role in the case.

Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 by the CBI. Both CBI and the ED are investigating the corruption cases against P. Chidambaram.

The Supreme Court has previously granted bail to Chidambaram in the CBI case, saying he was not at flight risk. The current bail application before the court is against the ED’s custody in the matter.

— India Legal Bureau

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