February 06, 2019:
On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court allowed Congress leader P Chidambaram to place some additional documents on record in his pending anticipatory bail petition in the INX Media Case lodged by the CBI.
The former Finance Minister has sought to place on record the printouts of several news articles published on Feb 3, which state that the Law Ministry has told the Centre that CBI can be granted sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in the case.
Justice Sunil Gaur allowed the application and said the additional documents are taken on record.
The Court has on Jan 25, reserved the order on Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail petition in the Corruption & Money Laundering Cases relating to the INX Media scandal, lodged by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
In the application filed through advocate Arshdeep Singh and Pramod Dubey, Chidambaram said it was imperative to bring on record these facts to show that the CBI has completed its investigation in the case and has thereafter, sought sanction to prosecute him.
“On Feb 3, it has been widely reported in the media that the Law Ministry has informed the Central Government that sanction can be granted to the CBI to prosecute the petitioner (Chidambaram) in the instant case.
“It appears that the opinion of the Law Ministry was sought on the request for grant of sanction made by the CBI against the petitioner,” the petition said.
The Congress leader has sought anticipatory bail saying that he was called for questioning by CBI only once in June 2018 and he was not even named as an accused in the FIR.
CBI & ED have opposed the anticipatory bail petition and asserted that his custodial interrogation was required in the case as he was evasive in giving answers during questioning and they required his custodial interrogation which will be qualitatively different.
The two probe agencies contended that Chidambaram, during whose tenure as finance minister the FIPB clearance was granted to a media group for receiving overseas funds of ₹305 crore in 2007, gave wrong answers and did not disclose the material which ought to be in his knowledge.
A Senior Government functionary has said the Law Ministry’s opinion was sought on whether the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) demand to prosecute Chidambaram was legally sound.
The Law Ministry has now told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that there was “no legal infirmity” in the CBI request seeking prosecution sanction.
The Ministry gave its opinion based on evidence provided by the premier Investigating Agency, the official has said.
CBI has been already granted approval by the Centre to prosecute Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case.