The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition for review filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the bail of former union minister and congressional leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media case.
“The hearing request is rejected in the request for review at the public hearing. We have carefully examined the Request for Review and related documents and we are convinced that the order, whose review has been requested, does not suffer any apparent error that justifies its reconsideration. The petition for review is, accordingly, dismissed, “the judges said in their ruling.
In granting him bail in the CBI case on October 22, the Supreme Court dismissed the investigative agency’s claim that Chidambaram, 74, was a flight risk.
Later, in December, the superior court granted him bail in a case presented by the Directorate of Execution (ED) against him in the same INX Media case.
The Supreme Court noted that Chidambaram had participated in the investigation and ordered him to continue to do so and not to speak to the press about the case while on bail. He was also prohibited from traveling abroad and manipulating evidence or contacting witnesses.
The CBI had accused Mr. Chidambaram and others of allegedly receiving around Rs 10 lakh as a bribe for liquidating foreign investment for a private company INX Media.
The agency alleges that in 2007, during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA government, P Chidambaram had facilitated a large transfusion of foreign funds to the firm, then owned by media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea.
Her son Karti Chidambaram had received bribes for the deal, investigators said, building their case on the basis of Indrani Mukerjea’s statement.
In another case, the Directorate of Execution alleged that Chidambaram and his son had used the bribes received from Mukerjeas to buy property in India, the United Kingdom and Spain.
In August last year, the CBI arrested the former minister after a dramatic manhunt that ended with agency officials scaling the walls of the south Chidambaram house in south Delhi in view of television cameras.
On October 16, the DE arrested him in a related money laundering case and questioned him.
Mr. Chidambaram was released on bail in December after more than three months in Tihar prison in Delhi.
He has denied all charges and accused the government of targeting him to resolve the political scores.