Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram who was arrested in connection with the INX Media corruption case and is now in Judicial Custody in Tihar jail, approached the Delhi High Court, seeking bail on Wednesday. Chidambaram, who has been lodged in Jail No.7 in Tihar, also challenged the trial court’s September 5 order that remanded him to 14 days judicial custody till September 19.
The 73-year-old senior Congress leader has been in CBI custody since the night after dramatic developments for questioning in the INX Media case began on August 21. While the investigative agencies asserted that they had proofs against the Chidambarams in the case, the Congress party has since then, targeted the probing agencies and blamed the Centre for pursuing vendetta politics. Chidambaram's 15-day CBI custody ordered by the special court in five spells started after his arrest on August 21. His arrest ended on Thursday, September 7, and was tentatively remanded to Judicial Custody for 14 days.
The INX Media Case is an ongoing case that first came to light in 2008 when the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND) of the finance ministry gave a go-ahead to a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of over Rs 305 crore by three Mauritius-based companies in INX Media Pvt Ltd, then owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The case was then handed over to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by the Income Tax department. In 2010, a case was registered against INX Media for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations.
On May 15, 2017, while investigating a company associated with Karti Chidambaram, the CBI registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the FIPB approval clearance granted to the INX Media group. This was followed by a money laundering case that was lodged by the ED in 2018. Indrani and Peter Mukerjea who co-founded INX Media in 2017 have been charged with being a party to the criminal conspiracy along with Karti Chidambaram. Notably, P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister of India during the time when the clearance was granted to the company.
On August 20, 2019, P Chidambaram's plea for an anticipatory bail in the case was rejected by the Delhi High Court and he was arrested by the CBI on August 21 from his residence. He was, since then, under CBI custody after which the Supreme Court remanded him to Judicial Custody on September 5.