Today the Former Union Minister P Chidambaram was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the INX Media corruption case. However, the change is so that he will not be released yet as he remains in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate.
Mr Chidambaram, arrested by the CBI on August 21, had been in judicial custody in Delhi’s Tihar jail until last week when he was handed over to the Enforcement Directorate till October 24.
Mr Chidambaram was in Tihar, Asia’s largest prison facility, for more than a month.
“The Congress leader can be released if he is not required in any other case,” the court said, continuing that he will have to give a bond of Rs. 1 lakh. The top court also said the bail granted to Mr Chidambaram would not have a stance on any other case.
The three-judge bench made it explicit that Chidambaram will not leave the country without prior consent of the court and make himself available for cross-examination as and when called by the probe agency.
On October 15, the court allowed the probe agency to question Mr. Chidambaram in its custody and provided home-cooked food, a separate cell, a western toilet, spectacles, and medicines for the veteran leader.
The probe agency opposed his request for air-conditioning. He is allowed to meet family members and relatives for half-an-hour every day.
The INX Media case involves accusations that Mr. Chidambaram, as the Finance Minister of the country, aided foreign funding for the company INX Media – co-founded by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea — in 2007 and his son Karti received kickbacks for it.
Mr. Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram, and 13 others, including senior bureaucrats and private companies, have been accused in a CBI charge sheet of causing losses to the government. The charge-sheet claims the Chidambaram’s received Rs.9.96 lakh as bribes.
Peter Mukherjea is also an accused, but Indrani Mukerjea, who has turned approver against Mr Chidambaram, does not face charges. Both Peter and Indrani Mukerjea are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.