BAIL FOR CHIDU … Former Union minister Chidambaram released on bail in INX-Media black money case

NEW DELHI: Former Union minister P Chidambaram walked out of Tihar Jail Wednesday night after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court  in the INX Media-Aircel Maxis money laundering case. He asserted that “not a single charge could be proven against me” by the ED and CBI sleuths. 

Chidambaram was received by a band of Congressmen outside the jail, including his son Karti, after 8pm. Some Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi had visited him in jail a few days ago.

While granting the bail, the court said he should not travel abroad during the time he is on bail. A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi said bail is the rule and jail an exception, though the charges of economic offences committed by the former minister were grave in nature.
The bench rejected the Enforcement Directorate’s contention that Chidambaram might influence the witnesses if he was allowed out of the Tihar jail. There was nothing  yet to prove he did any such influencing, the court noted.
Palaniappa Chidambaram was in jail for 106 days before the bail order was made in the second case against him. The SC had granted him bail in a case filed by the CBI. The present grant of bail was in relation to a CBI case against Chidambaram. 

The former high-profile Union minister is 73 years old and hails from Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu. Wife is Nalini Chidambaram, a Supreme Court lawyer whose name had got embroiled in the Saradha chit fund scam in West Bengal. Chidambaram’s son Karti is also involved in a few cases relating to inappropriate money deals and purchase of assets abroad. 

The former minister had been lodged in Jail No 7 at Tihar, the same cell where his son Karti had been kept in confinement last year in the INX Media case for three weeks. 

Chidambaram. among others, was among the confidants of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for many years. At one time, he had broken away from the Congress and formed the Tamil Manila Congress, but returned to the Congress fold later. IHN-NN

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