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The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on the regular bail plea of P Chidambaram in the INX Media case.

The court reserved the judgments after both the parties concluded their arguments.

At today’s hearing, Senior adv Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidambaram told the single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Sait that his client has no recollection that he met Indrani Mukerjea. My client had also informed the CBI that he never met Mukerjea when the probe agency confronted him.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta opposed the arguments of Sibal and said: “Investigation is going on and chargesheet is to be filed. I may point out that when the prayer was made for Anticipatory Bail that was made under two Section, one was under the PMLA act and IPC. Refusal of the Anticipatory Bail carried on to the Supreme Court which was dismissed.”

He further added: “If the record make out a case then it was not a case was for Anticipatory Bail. My request before the court that see the record and the case made out. Supreme Court also decides whether court can rely on the record or not.

Mehta said corruption cases are grave in nature rejecting the contention of petitioner’s counsel that ‘gravity of offence’ is subjective term.

Mehta continued: “All I can say right now your lordship is that if Bail granted then it is possible that he can influence witnesses because we have asked him about all the witnesses in case. Visitors’ register was destroyed and the statement of Hotel Oberoi corroborates that Peter and Indrani Mukerjea stayed in the hotel where the meeting took place…

“Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd is nothing but a conspiracy of petitioner and his son. Their contention that Notice was not Issued under Section 41A before arrest, is wrong, as Notice under Section 41A CRPC was Issued as back as in May 2019. Gravity of the offences should be measured…corruption is an offence which defies and betrays the economy, is of grave nature and a Bail can be granted in murder case but not in cheating Cases.”

“It is wrong to say that he is respectful member of a society and not at flight risk. I would say in the past the persons who are respectful and member of parliament fled from country. He is at a flight risk and it would be hazardous, if he gets the Bail,” Mehta stated.

Justice Sait asked: “Whether the FIBP approval granted on Percentage or Amount?”

Sibal replied: “Money has come in accordance with the law, RBI & SEBI. It Never Issued any Notice to me and the approval was cleared by the 7 Secretaries in the Ministry in accordance with the Press Note7. There is even no evidence of payment to me… PressNote7 is only to show that there is no illegality… I am not certainly at flight risk… no evidence of tampering and influencing the witnesses, now I am in Judicial custody, what I am to do if I came out…”

—India Legal Bureau

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