The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case allowing the former finance minister to leave Tihar jail after 105 days in custody.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Banumathi granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh with two sureties of the like amount and also asked him to surrender his passport.
Chidambaram cannot leave the country without the prior permission of the court and cannot give media interviews or statements with regard to the case.
The order granting bail to Chidambaram will not have bearing on any other accused in the case, the bench also comprising justices Hrishikesh Roy and AS Bopanna ruled.
“The availability of the appellant for further investigation, interrogation and facing trial is not jeopardized and he is already held to be not a ‘flight risk’ and there is no possibility of tampering the evidence or influencing the witnesses,” the court said in its order.
The bench also noted that the 74-year old former minister already suffered two bouts of illness during his stint in custody and was put on antibiotics and steroids of maximum strength.
The veteran Congress leader has been in custody for 105 days since August 21 when he was first arrested by the CBI in the INX Media corruption case.
He was granted bail in that case by the top court on October 22, but was by then taken into custody by the ED in a connected money laundering case.
The CBI registered its case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a FIPB clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money-laundering case.
*from various sources.