Chidambaram non-cooperative, says CBI in reply to bail application

Chidambaram non-cooperative, says CBI in reply to bail application
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. File Photo
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed its reply in connection with the regular bail application filed by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the CBI case relating to INX Media.

In its reply filed before the Delhi High Court, the probe agency has said that Chidambaram remained 'non-cooperative' during the investigation and did not even answer the 'basic' questions.

The agency further contended that there is sufficient evidence on record which reveals the role of the ex-Finance Minister in the INX Media case.

"P Chidambaram wielding his influential position has so far ensured that the investigation agency does not get the details sought in the aforesaid Letter of Rogatory which are the details to be supplied by the banks situated abroad," said the CBI reply.

The agency added that if Chidambaram is released on bail, he would ensure that these crucial details are not accessed by the probe agencies.

"Considering the nature, degree and the gravity of the offence and the influential position of the petitioner and the apprehension of tampering with the evidence and the witness, judicial custody of the petitioner becomes essential causing no prejudice to the petitioner if kept in judicial custody," the agency stated in his reply.

The probe agencies suspect that Chidambaram, who is presently lodged in Tihar jail in connection with the INX Media case, and his son Karti Chidambaram of owning several immovable properties and over 16 bank accounts in other countries, which they are trying to identify to trace the money trail.

Chidambaram and his son were named in the case by INX Media co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving Rs 305 crore overseas funds in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the Finance Minister.

The ED too filed a money laundering case against Chidambaram in this regard in 2017.

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