Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was restrained by the Supreme Court on Wednesday from either giving any press interviews or making public comments regarding him or other co-accused in the INX Media money laundering case. The apex court imposed this condition while granting bail to the 74-year-old former finance minister in the case lodged by Enforcement Directorate (ED).
"The appellant (Chidambaram) shall not give any press interviews nor make any public comment in connection with this case qua him or other co-accused," a bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy said.
This condition assumes significance as during the hearing on Chidambaram's plea seeking bail, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, had claimed that ahead of a crucial hearing in the case media reports and articles were published to influence the proceedings. The apex court set aside the November 15 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him bail in the case.
Chidambaram has been in custody since August 21 when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media corruption case. On October 16, the ED arrested him in the money-laundering case. Six days later, on October 22, the apex court had granted him bail in the case lodged by the CBI.
The CBI had registered its case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.
The ED lodged a money laundering case after that.