NEW Delhi, SEP.12
The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the bail plea filed by former Union Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case.
The matter was listed before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, who allowed the CBI to file its status report in the INX Media case within seven days.
A second petition filed by P Chidambaram, challenging the CBI Court order which remanded him to judicial custody till September 19, was withdrawn after Justice Kait voiced his reservations against it.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who was accompanied by Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Salman Khurshid, Vivek Tankha, Dayan Krishnan and N Hariharan, submitted that the alleged offences pertain to the years 2007-2008 and an FIR was registered 10 years later in May 2017.
He added that till date, Chidambaram was called for interrogation by the CBI only once in June 2018. He was then arrested more than a year later on August 21, 2019 from his home, Sibal said.
Sibal further stated that all the offences in the case had a maximum punishment of only seven years.
In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Court that Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the High Court with the observation that “this is a very strong case”.
After a brief hearing, the Court issued notice to the CBI and allowed it to file a status report within seven days.
When Sibal requested the Court to hear the matter as soon as soon as possible in view of the fact that P Chidambaram’s judicial custody ends on September 19, Justice Kait exclaimed that he should have moved the bail plea sooner.
Justice Kait also refused to entertain Sibal’s request to allow home cooked food for Chidambaram in Tihar jail. The matter will be heard next on September 23.