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INX Media Case: Chidambaram Gets Interim Protection from Arrest

The court also issued notice to the CBI and sought its response on the senior Congress leader's anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on July 3, directing that the agency will not arrest him till then.

PTI

Updated:May 31, 2018, 7:04 PM IST
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INX Media Case: Chidambaram Gets Interim Protection from Arrest
File photo of Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram. (PTI photo)
New Delhi: Former union minister P Chidambaram on Thursday secured interim protection from arrest till July 3 from the Delhi High Court in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI.

Justice A K Pathak asked Chidambaram to join questioning and cooperate in the investigation as and when called by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The court also issued notice to the CBI and sought its response on the senior Congress leader's anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on July 3, directing that the agency will not arrest him till then.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid, appearing for Chidambaram,

mentioned the matter before the judge in the morning and assured the court that the Congress leader will cooperate with the investigating agency.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, opposed the plea saying Chidambaram should have first approached the trial court for relief, instead of the high court.

He said the politician has been called for questioning in pursuance to the notice issued by the CBI and the law was equal for every citizen of the country.

The court, however, observed that the ASG should make a statement that the CBI will not arrest him till the next date of hearing.

Either you (Mehta) make a statement that you are not going to arrest him, (Chidambaram) or else I need to protect as he apprehends his arrest, the judge said.

Chidambaram, who was earlier slated to appear before the CBI on Thursday, did not appear before it for questioning in connection with the INX Media corruption case, officials said..

In Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea filed through advocate P K Dubey, it was contended that the former minister was being harassed in the case in which he was not named in the FIR. However, he has been asked to join questioning by the CBI.

Chidambaram had on Wednesday 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.

Chidambaram'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.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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