Chidambaram’s bail plea hearing


Chidambaram, who spent a fortnight in police custody after his arrest, was thereafter remanded to judicial custody. Later, his regular bail was denied by the Delhi High Court as well. He was granted regular bail in the CBI case by the Supreme Court subsequently. The CBI’s review petition before the Supreme Court against the order granting bail to Chidambaram is presently pending.

  • All the allegations are not qua Chidambaram, but about others. Singhvi concludes. Enforcement Directorate to make submissions tomorrow.
  • The Delhi High Court order has gone into the merits of the case and has been dispositive in granting me bail, Singhvi
  • Principle of law is that the High Court and the Supreme Court cannot go into the merits at this stage. What will the trial court do otherwise? Singhvi
  • Reading from Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment, Singhvi says, “Punishment begins after conviction…Here, I have been in jail for 100 days.”
  • Singhvi cites a judgment in which it was held that gravity of offence alone cannot be a ground for denial of bail.
  • Legislature treats offences warranting less than 7 years’ imprisonment as being relatively less grave, Singhvi
  • Only an extraordinary category of crimes warrants denial of bail. Mere expression of “gravity of offence” cannot substantiate denial of bail, Singhvi.
  • Singhvi: They are applying the test of gravity of offence. With this test, the accused will stay in jail forever. The gravity won’t change.
  • Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi begins submissions for P Chidambaram.

Bench rises for lunch.

  • Sibal: In this case, an FIR was registered by the CBI and the contents of that FIR became the ECIR
  • Sibal : The only argument they have is Karti Chidambaram was a beneficiary through a company that he allegedly owned and I am his father P Chidambaram.
  • Sibal : Offence itself is not established, let alone gravity of the offence.
  • Sibal reading paras from HC judgement to show how it’s been copied from ED’s submissions.
  • Sibal on gravity of offence – The maximum punishment for the offence I’ve been charged with under PMLA is 7 yrs. Gravity of offence is to be seen in accordance to length of sentence, length that is ascertained after finding the accused guilty
  • Sibal :An offence under PMLA requires there to be a predicate offence before proceeds of a crime. But no crime or offence has as yet been established. They say bribe of ₹10 lakhs has taken but ED says proceedings run into 1000s of crore rupees.
  • Kapil Sibal while arguing bail for P. Chidambaram says Delhi HC rejected bail to Chidambaram saying it’ll send a wrong message to the society.. “as if I’m some Ranga Billa” says Sibal.
  • Sibal- not one email, one SMS, not one document has been found that connects me to anything. All the others are out, yet I’m in jail because they call me the ‘kingpin’.
  • VG – They have failed to provide the orders authorising the IG of Police to issue orders regarding shutdown. They have also not provided any material of the review committee. These are required by law. They have only claimed in the affidavits that these orders were legitimate.
  • Sibal : ED never interrogated me. I was not confronted with any witnesses.
  • Sibal concludes. Now Vrinda Grover arguing.
  • Sibal- It is the 99th day I’m in jail.

Delhi: INX Media Case P Chidambaram bench headed by Justice Banumathi starts hearing the bail plea of Formerly finance minister P Chidambaram, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal arguing.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in Tihar jail on Wednesday morning. According to a senior party leader, Rahul and Priyanka will visit Chidambaram at around 9 am.

In a counter affidavit filed in the top court, the ED alleged that Chidambaram is not entitled for bail as sufficient evidence has come on record that he has been “indulging in destruction of evidence” and influencing the witnesses.

Chidambaram, being a former cabinet minister, is “very intelligent and influential man”, the ED claimed, adding that his mere presence can intimidate witnesses at this stage and there is direct evidence which shows that he has pressurised the witnesses to not join the investigation.

“In the present case the petitioner (Chidambaram) who held a very high and influential office of the finance minister of the country, used the same for personal gains, personally, as well as in connivance with his co-conspirators and has laundered the proceeds of crime to conceal the tainted money,” the ED said.

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