After the Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected his anticipatory bail application, top sources are telling Republic that P Chidambaram may be on the run as he faces arrest.
Top sources are also telling Republic that the former Finance Minister was earlier at the residence of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Sighvi's residence, but left after an hour-long visit. At the time of publishing, sources say, Chidambaram has gone underground.
Earlier on August 20, the CBI and the ED arrived at Chidambaram's residence, but the former Union Minister was not present there.
Chidamabaram's anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the High Court in the INX media case which has huge implications given the fact that it gives the investigative agencies a free hand to arrest and take the UPA-era Minister into custodial interrogation, should it be neccessary.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday (January 25) asserted before the Delhi High Court (HC) that custodial interrogation of Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram was required in the INX Media case. The submission was made before Justice Sunil Gaur who was hearing Chidambaram's plea seeking anticipatory bail in the corruption and money laundering cases relating to the INX Media scandal. The High Court reserved its order and said that the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram will continue till the decision is passed on his plea for anticipatory bail. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI and ED, contended that the Congress leader was evasive during interrogation and was giving long answers. He added that Chidambaram was not disclosing the material ought to be in his knowledge and the agencies required his custodial interrogation which will be qualitatively different.
On Tuesday, Chidambaram has been denied bail by the Delhi High Court in the INX Media Case. The senior Congress leader had approached the Court with an anticipatory bail application in the corruption and money laundering case. During arguments, both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had opposed Chidambaram's plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning.
Both the probe agencies had contended that during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister, FIPB clearance was granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs. 305 crore in 2007. The high court had on July 25, 2018, granted interim protection from arrest to P Chidambaram in both the cases and it was extended from time to time. The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs. 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs. 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.
Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Salman Khurshid, and Kapil Sibal were confronted outside the Supreme Court Republic TV. In an unprecedented move, four Congress senior legal leaders who were in consultant with P. Chidambaram visited the Supreme Court. Elaborating on the same, Congress' Kapil Sibal told Republic TV that they requested the Chief Justice of India to put a stay on the order. Sibal also told that they are not panicking.
Republic TV's Rhythm A Bhardwaj confronted the senior Congress lawyers over the subsequent actions that would be taken after the High Court denied bail to the former Union Minister.