The Delhi High Court extended today the interim protection from arrest granted to former union minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case till August 1. Justice A K Pathak, who had earlier granted the interim protection till today, extended the relief to Chidambaram by one more month.
The high court had on May 31 asked the senior Congress leader to join questioning and cooperate in the investigation as and when called by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI, had on the last date of hearing, opposed the anticipatory bail plea saying Chidambaram should have first approached the trial court for relief, instead of the high court.
In Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea, it was contended that the former minister was being harassed in the case, in which he was not named. Chidambaram had on May 30 rushed to a trial court for protection from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis case of the Enforcement Directorate before approaching the high court in connection with the INX Media case. The senior Congress leader’s role has come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-1 regime that FIPB clearance was granted to the two ventures in which alleged irregularities have been found. In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15 last year against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was finance minister.
Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was also arrested in the matter on February 28 for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case. He was granted bail on March 23. The other accused in the case include then INX Media Director Indrani Mukerjea and then INX News Director Peter Mukerjea.