Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's plea for an urgent hearing on his anticipatory bail plea seeking protection from arrest in the corruption and money laundering cases relating to the INX Media scandal.
This comes only hours after the Delhi High Court rejected the former Union minister's pre-arrest bail plea.
The former Union Finance Minister reportedly faces imminent arrest in the INX Media Case as the Delhi HC declined his petition that sought a stay on the operation of the order for three days.
The Delhi HC order stated that prima facie, the "petitioner appears to be the kingpin of the entire scam," and also didn't cooperate with the investigation in the case. "Magnitude and enormity of material produced disentitle him from any pre-arrest bail," the HC stated.
Denying Chidambaram protection from arrest, Delhi High Court Judge Justice Sunil Gaur also said that the Congress leader's status as a Member of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and a member of the legal profession doesn't have any effect on the INX Media Case.
The judge said that Chidambaram "cannot be given pre-arrest bail simply because he is a sitting MP."
In 2007, INX Media had brought in Rs. 305cr through foreign investment, even though the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) had given approval for only Rs. 4.62cr.
Chidambaram's son Karti allegedly influenced the FIPB to approve the investment into INX Media.
Karti allegedly also received kickbacks in 2007 in exchange for getting the funding approved. Chidambaram has been questioned several times in the case.
CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are investigating the INX Media case.
In May'17, CBI filed an FIR regarding alleged irregularities in FIPB's clearance to INX for receiving overseas funds when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister and FIPB's chief. ED registered a money laundering case for the same.
CBI and ED are also probing the irregular FIPB clearance to the Rs. 3,500cr 2006 Aircel-Maxis deal.
Delhi HC on Tuesday also said economic offense must be dealt with "iron hands". It stated, "Investigating agencies' hands cannot be tied up in such a massive economic offense."
Justice Gaur said, "Both the petitions (CBI, ED cases) are dismissed." The HC granted interim protection from arrest to Chidambaram on July 25, 2018 (in both the cases) which was extended from time to time.
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