Former finance minister P Chidambaram was denied bail in the INX media case by the Delhi High Court on Monday. The petition filed by the Congress leader seeking regular bail against the CBI was dismissed by the HC after almost four days of hearing arguments on both sides. Sources within Chidambaram’s legal team have confirmed that the Congress leader will be challenging the High Court order that denied him bail before the Supreme Court now.
Earlier in the day, while producing the verdict, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait stated that three important factors need to be taken into consideration to decide whether or not P Chidambaram ought to be granted bail:
1. Whether he was a flight risk?
2. Whether there was a possibility of him tampering with the evidence?
3. Whether there was a possibility of him influencing the witnesses?
As for the first two questions, the judge sided with arguments made by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi for the former Union Minister. Justice Kait stated that there was no evidence on record to show that P Chidambaram might try to flee the country or will try to tamper with evidence, considering all documents in the case were in custody of the investigating agency.
However, for the third test, Justice Kait held that P Chidambaram enjoyed a “position of power” as a former Home and Finance Minister. “It cannot be ruled out that P Chidambaram will not influence the witnesses in the case,” said the High Court judge while dismissing the Congress leader's plea for grant of regular bail.
This is the second time in the past month that P Chidambaram will be moving the SC trying to get bail in the INX media case. Earlier in August, his plea for anticipatory bail against the Enforcement Directorate in the same case had been dismissed by the Top Court stating that the nature of the offences alleged against him was “very serious”.
Notably, P Chidambaram, this time, will be seeking regular bail from the Supreme Court against the CBI. The senior Congress leader, currently lodged in Tihar jail, has been in judicial custody for almost a month now.