INX Media case: CBI challenges bail granted to Karti

Karti Chidambaram, son of Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram at Patiala House Court in connection with the INX Media money laundering case, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The CBI on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging a Delhi High Court order granting bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the INX Media case.

The CBI has claimed in its appeal that it was "impermissible" for the high court to entertain the bail plea filed by Karti when an application seeking similar relief was pending before the trial court.

The agency has also alleged that the high court had "erroneously" conducted a "detailed examination" of evidence on merits at the stage of bail which seriously prejudiced the case of CBI.

"Further, the high court while granting bail (to Karti) failed to exercise its discretion in a judicious manner without ascertaining the nature of the accusation, the nature of supporting evidence and the reasonable apprehension of tampering with the evidence in the present case," the CBI said in its appeal.

A single judge bench of the high court had on March 23 granted bail to Karti, who was arrested on February 28 by the CBI, saying the relief should not be refused unless the crime was of the "highest magnitude" entailing "severe punishment".

The high court had also observed that while there was "incriminating evidence" of a "nexus" between his then company Chess Management Services (P) Ltd (CMS) and Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Ltd (ASC), which had received a payment of Rs 10 lakh for allegedly facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media, it was not sufficient to deny bail to Karti as the payment was duly accounted for in the company records and was received by a cheque.

Karti was arrested from Chennai in connection with an FIR lodged on May 15 last year, which had alleged irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for receiving funds of about Rs 305 crore from overseas in 2007 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

The CBI had initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as a bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. It had later revised the figure to USD 1 million.

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INX Media case: CBI challenges bail granted to Karti

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