SC to pronounce judgement on PC's bail on Wednesday

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram. (PTI file photo)

The Supreme Court would on Wednesday pronounce its judgement on a bail plea by former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in a money laundering case registered in connection with the INX media scam.

The senior Congress leader was first arrested by the CBI on August 21 in a corruption case related to the alleged irregularities in the FIPB approval to INX media group during his tenure as minister in 2007-08.

The Supreme Court granted him bail on October 22 but he could not walk out of prison since he was put under arrest on October 16 by the ED in a separate money laundering case registered in May 2017.

On Wednesday, a bench of Justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy would deliver the judgement on a petition filed by Chidambaram against the Delhi HC's order of November 15 rejecting his plea for bail.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi, appearing for him, had contended the HC ignored the triple test theory, of looking into flight risk, the possibility of tampering with the evidence and influencing witnesses by the accused, and concluded that the gravity of the offence disentitled him to bail.

They claimed there was no single email, or SMS, or anything else to show his involvement in the case.

They also claimed the High Court had passed paragraphs from the Enforcement Directorate's affidavit as judicial findings.

The ED, for his part, claimed Chidambaram's presence evoked fear among witnesses. It accused the leader of being in touch with witnesses even during the custody and influencing them. It charged the senior Congress leader of destroying the evidence while claiming that investigation has shown a “clear case of money laundering with the involvement of petitioner, his son, Karti and co-conspirators”.

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