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INX media case: CBI moves SC against bail to Karti Chidambaram

By Deepika

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday moved the Supreme Court against bail granted to Karti Chidambaram by Delhi High Court in connection with the INX media case.

Karti Chidambaram

The CBI has claimed in its appeal that it was "impermissible" for the high court to entertain the bail plea filed by Karti when an application seeking similar relief was pending before the trial court.

The agency has also alleged that the high court had "erroneously" conducted a "detailed examination" of evidence on merits at the stage of bail which seriously prejudiced the case of CBI.

"Further, the high court while granting bail (to Karti) failed to exercise its discretion in a judicious manner without ascertaining the nature of accusation, the nature of supporting evidence and the reasonable apprehension of tampering with the evidence in the present case," the CBI said in its appeal.

The Delhi High Court had in May granted bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in the case with a bond of Rs 10 lakh.

The order was delivered by Justice S P Garg who had reserved his verdict on March 16 after hearing arguments on behalf of Karti and the CBI which had opposed granting of relief to him.

The CBI had earlier contended that bail should not be granted to Karti Chidambaram as he has already destroyed evidence in the case and was an "influential" person.

Karti's counsel, however, argued that no case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was made out against him since the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had neither questioned any public servant nor made them an accused in the matter.

The case - being probed by the CBI - pertains to alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving funds close to Rs 305 crore from overseas when Karti's father was Union finance minister. On February 28, Karti Chidambaram had been arrested by from Chennai following his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year.

Karti's arrest last month was triggered by fresh evidence provided by the incarcerated former INX Media director, Indrani Mukherjea. She is currently lodged in a Mumbai prison in connection with the case of murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.

In the separate money laundering case arising out of the corruption matter, the Delhi HC had on March 9 directed the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest or take any coercive action against Karti. The protection was later extended by the court till March 22. Subsequently, the Supreme Court had transferred the ED case to itself.

After the relief in INX Media Case, Karti has filed anticipatory bail plea against CBI and ED in a case relating to FIPB clearance to M/S Global communication holding services Ltd in the Aircel Maxis case.

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