INX media case: Karti Chidambaram moves Delhi HC for bail

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Karti Chidambaram, who is the son of the former Union minister P Chidambaram's son, was presented in a Delhi court after his three-day police custody in the INX Media corruption case, by the CBI, and as it concluded, they have asked for his custody to be extended to 15 days more.

Karti is accused of receiving kickbacks a decade back to clear foreign investment into INX Media group, using the influence of his father P. Chidambaram, who was then the Union finance minister.

Counsel for CBI said, 'Under the circumstances when there is sufficient material clearly implicating the accused in this serious economic offence, it is absolutely necessary that the accused be remanded to the judicial custody'. The court also declined his request for a separate cell in Tihar jail, and protection inside the jail premises.

"Only keeping in view the fact of social status of accused and his father, he can not be treated different from other accused persons and can not be allowed to be kept in a separate prison", the court said.

The CBI countered it saying there is threat to Chidambaram but not to his son, family or relatives and they are roaming around the country freely. Organisation investigating me should be concerned about my security.

Although the Delhi High Court had granted Karti relief, by barring his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate till March 20, the barring of arrest was not applicable in the case of an arrest by the CBI.

The interim relief from "any coercive action" taken by the ED came a day after the Supreme Court transferred to the Delhi High Court, his plea seeking quashing of summons issued by the probe agency. He was first sent to the CBI custody, where he was being interrogated till now.

Karti was arrested on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with an FIR lodged on May 15 a year ago.

In the month of May, 2017, the CBI had filed a case against Karti for alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media, criminal conspiracy and cheating. It, however, later revised the figure to $1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007). Karti is alleged to have been paid over Rs 3 crore by the two former co-owners of the media house, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are now in jail on charges of murdering Sheena Bora, the daughter of Indrani.

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