Over three months after he was first arrested by the CBI, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The bail is in the case filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate. He is expected to come out of prison shortly.
Reports state that Chidambaram has been told by the court not to travel abroad or attempt to get back his passport, which is currently with the authorities. He has been asked to appear before the agencies when requested, and also furnish a bond worth Rs 2 lakh.
According to reports, Chidambaram reiterated in court that others named in the case have either not been arrested or had received bail.
In October, the Supreme Court had granted bail to Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). However, the Congress leader continued to be in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which too had filed a money-laundering case pertaining to the case.
The CBI had opposed his bail plea alleging that Chidambaram was a 'flight risk' and had tried to "pressurise and influence" key witnesses.
The 74-year-old leader was arrested on August 21 by the CBI from his Jor Bagh residence in Delhi. Following 15 days of CBI custody, he was sent to Tihar Jail on September 5. In October, he was sent to the ED’s custody in the INX Media case.
In the same month, the CBI finally filed a chargesheet after first registering a case in 2017, charging P Chidambaram and his son Karti P Chidambaram along with other government officials. The chargesheet reportedly stated that Indrani Mukerjea allegedly paid a bribe of USD 5 million to the father-son duo through offshore payments. Indrani and Peter, directors of INX Media Private Limited, had reportedly received foreign investment of Rs 403.07 crore against approved foreign direct investment (FDI) of Rs 4.62 crore.
The agency filed a chargesheet against four entities and 10 people under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 471 (signing a forged document as genuine) of Indian Penal Code, and section 9 (taking gratification, for exercise of personal influence with public servant), 13(1)(d) (abusing one's position as a public servant) of 13(2) (public servant who commits criminal misconduct) of Prevention of Corruption Act.