P Chidambaram to remain in jail during Dasara

SC seeks CBI's reply on bail plea

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. (PTI photo)

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is to remain inside Tihar jail during Dasara festival, as the Supreme Court on Friday put his bail plea for consideration on October 15.

The top court issued notice to the CBI on his plea challenging validity of Delhi High Court's order of September 30 denying him relief in the INX media case.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and Hrishikesh Roy sought response from the investigating agency, as senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, assailed the High Court's finding that the petitioner, if released on bail, could influence witnesses. The court, however, said it would consider the matter on October 15.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was present on behalf of the CBI during the hearing.

A Delhi court had on Thursday extended judicial custody of Chidambaram till October 17.

Arrested on August 21 by the CBI from his Jor Bagh residence here, Chidambaram sought bail, saying that he was 74 years old and his health was frail. He also said, in his petition, that he had already spent over 40 days in jail and there was no chance of him tampering with the evidences, which were documentary in nature. Asserting that his antecedents were impeccable, he said there was no possibility of him fleeing from justice. He said if all co-accused his son, Karti, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea had already been granted bail in the case, it was “manifestly unjust and illegal” deny him the same relief.

He also said there was no illegality to the FIPB clearance, since it was a collective decision of six secretaries, assisted by several officers and the Department of Economic Affairs respectively.

The CBI had on May 15, 2017, registered the case for irregularities in the FIPB clearance to the media group in 2007.

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