New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who has been in judicial custody since September 5 in the INX Media corruption case, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court. The 74-year-old Congress leader, however, will remain in the custody of Enforcement Directorate till October 24.
The Congress leader “can be released if he in not required in any other case”, the top court said, adding that he will have to give a bond of Rs. 1 lakh, the top court said today. A three-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi set aside the Delhi High Court’s September 30 order denying him bail in the corruption case.
Mr Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 by the CBI, which has chargesheeted him, his son Karti and several other bureaucrats for “causing loss to the exchequer” by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The top court has made it clear that the Congress leader will not leave the country without prior permission of the court and make himself available for interrogation as and when called by the probe agency. The bail granted to Mr Chidambaram in the INX media case would not have any bearing in other pending cases against him, the court has clarified.
The 74-year-old leader left Delhi’s Tihar jail last week after a special court in Delhi sent the him to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate in INX Media case. Allowing the probe agency to question Mr Chidambaram, the court also granted him permission to have home-cooked food, a separate cell, a western toilet, spectacles and medicines.
The Enforcement Directorate opposed his request for air-conditioning. He was allowed to meet family members and relatives for half-an-hour every day.