The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI told the Supreme Court on Friday that the Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti and senior government officials have been charged in the INX Media corruption case for causing huge losses to the taxpayer in return of kickbacks.
The CBI told the court, opposing Mr. Chidambaram’s request for bail, the 74-year-old Congress leader poses a flight risk and could also influence a witness. The agency said that the charge sheet was filed before a special court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI said that “The witness has given a statement that he is being influenced. We don’t wish to disclose his identity and his name has been given submitted to the CBI court in a sealed cover.”
Mr. Mehta told the court that the country needs to have a “zero-tolerance policy” on corruption and that the charges in the case against Mr. Chidambaram include forgery. Mr. Chidambaram’s lawyer and party colleague Kapil Sibal countered the CBI and said, “P Chidambaram’s passport is impounded, there is a lookout notice against him and he has never applied for travel. So where is the question of flight risk? How can he run away? He is recognized all over the world.”
Mr. Chidambaram has lost weight while in custody of more than 4 kg “It is only to humiliate him. If the witness is influenced, it is the duty of the government to protect the witness… he hasn’t influenced anyone,” the Congress leader added.
The Supreme Court reserved its order n Mr. Chidambaram’s bail plea after it heard both sides. P Chidambaram was arrested in a dramatic late-night swoop on August 21 by officers from the CBI. The Enforcement Directorate arrested him and yesterday he was moved to the agency’s custody out of Tihar.