The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's bail plea in the INX Media corruption case. The court, infact, had some hard-hitting remarks to make on the denial of former finance minister's bail. Chidambaram, 74, has been in custody since his arrest by the CBI on August 21.
Explained: Why was Chidambaram denied bail.
Here are some hard-hitting remarks made by the Delhi High Court:
- The Delhi High Court said it cannot be disputed that if the case is proved against Chidambaram, the offence is on the society, economy, financial stability and integrity of the country.
- Chidambaram is not a "flight risk" and there is no chance of tampering with evidence, the court said. But having said that, the Delhi HC added that he can influence witnesses if granted bail.
- In a hard-hitting remark, the Delhi High Court said: "The economic offences constitute a class apart and a class by itself, as it cuts the very root of probity and purity of public administration and results in eroding the public confidence which it reposes on the Government elected by it." The observation was made by Justice Suresh Kait as he dismissed Chidambaram's bail application.
- The Delhi High Court also said it cannot be disputed that Chidambaram has been a strong finance minister and home minister and is a Rajya Sabha MP at present. "He is a respectable member of the Bar Association of Supreme Court. He has long standing in bar as a senior advocate. He has deep roots in the Indian society and may be some connection in abroad," the court said.
- But at the same time, the court said the fact that Chidambaram will not influence the witnesses directly or indirectly, cannot be ruled out in view of above facts. "Moreover the investigation is at advanced stage, therefore, this court is not inclined to grant bail."
- On the flight risk, the Delhi High Court judge said it can be secured by putting conditions including surrender of passport, issuance of look out notice and the accused not being allowed to leave the country without the permission of the court (even via Nepal and Bhutan).
- "There is no evidence on record that Chidambaram tried to flee from India," the court said, adding that the situation of flight risk is possible only if no look out notice is issued or an accused is not of so popular and can leave country based upon forged passport in the name of other persons.
- The judge agreed with the contentions of senior advocate A M Singhvi, representing Chidambaram, and did not agree with the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on the issue of flight risk.
- On the point of evidence tampering, the court said the documents relating to the case are in the custody of the CBI, the government and the court.
- "The petitioner is not in power except he is a Member of Parliament. Therefore, in my considered view, there is no chance of Chidambaram tampering with the evidence...," the judge said.