After meeting party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday night, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP P Chidambaram stated that he was breathing the “air of freedom” after 106 days. He expressed his happiness on the Supreme Court granting him bail. Chidambaram was released from the Tihar jail in the evening. Hundreds of Congress workers along with his son and Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram welcomed him outside the jail.
P Chidambaram remarked, “I am happy that Supreme Court has passed an order granting bail and I am happy that I have stepped out and am breathing the air of freedom after 106 days.”
The SC's bail order pertains to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) INX Media case. The SC set aside the Delhi High Court order of November 15 that had dismissed the senior Congress leader’s bail plea. However, the apex court has listed some conditions to be followed by Chidambaram when he is out on bail. For instance, Chidambaram was asked to deposit a bail bond of Rs. 2,00,000 to be released. Moreover, he cannot leave the country without the permission of the court. He has not only been asked to make himself available for investigation whenever required but also has been directed not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses. Another significant restriction imposed by the SC is that the senior Congress leader cannot give any interviews or public statements regarding the INX Media case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media for foreign funds of Rs.305 crore during Congress leader P Chidambaram’s tenure as Finance Minister. According to the CBI, the Mukerjea couple, who were the owners and founders of INX Media had swung a deal in their favour to secure the FIPB clearance. Indrani turned approver in the case and gave a confessional statement to a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Indrani Mukerjea has alleged that money had exchanged hands, benefiting one of Karti Chidambaram’s companies in lieu of the FIPB approval. The ED too lodged a money laundering case in this regard.