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Saturday 6 June 2020

INX Media: HC grants interim protection to P Chidambaram from arrest till 3 July

Chidambaram's role has come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today granted former finance minister P Chidambaram interim protection from arrest till 3 July in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s INX Media corruption case. However, Justice AK Pathak asked Chidambaram to join and cooperate in the questioning session as and when called by the CBI.

The court also sought the investigating agency’s response to the Congress leader’s anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on 3 July.

Meanwhile, former finance minister Chidambaram would not appear before the CBI on Thursday for questioning, officials said. They did not give any immediate reason.

The court also sought the investigating agency’s response to his anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on 3 July. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the anticipatory bail plea, saying  Chidambaram was merely called for questioning.

On Wednesday, Chidambaram had rushed to a trial court for protection from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis case before approaching the Delhi High Court in connection with the INX Media case, in which he has been asked by probe agencies to join the investigation.

Chidambaram’s role has come under the scanner of the investigating agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal of ₹3,500 crore and the INX Media case involving ₹305 crore. It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I regime that FIPB clearance was granted to the two ventures in which alleged irregularities have been found.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May last year against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister.

Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was also arrested in the matter for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of ₹10 lakh in the case.

The other accused in the case include former INX directors Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.

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