Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal (File photo/ANI)
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal (File photo/ANI)

No offence of cheating or conspiracy made out in INX Media case against Chidambaram: Sibal

ANI | Updated: Sep 23, 2019 18:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 23 (ANI): Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal on Monday said that there was no offence of cheating or conspiracy made out in the INX Media case while arguing for former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's bail.
"Chidambaram was not named as an accused in the FIR filed in the INX media case. He was called only once for interrogation and then on August 20, the anticipatory bail was dismissed," Sibal said at the court here during the ongoing bail hearing in the case filed by CBI.
"At midnight on August 20, they affixed a notice outside the residence, asking him to appear within two hours for interrogation. My client is a law-abiding citizen. We went to the Supreme Court. But now it's being taken to be an incident to show my desire to flee from justice," Sibal added.
He said that Chidambaram had already served police custody and was currently in judicial custody and yet the investigation agency tried to portray him as a flight risk.
"CBI is alleging that I am a flight risk. I have already served 15 days of police custody and then on September 5, I was sent to judicial custody," Sibal said on behalf of Chidambaram.
Sibal alleged that one of the Secretaries of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which gave approval to INX Media went on to become an RBI Governor while Chidambaram was being targeted falsely in the case.
"FIPB approval was given for the INX Media. There was an approval also sought for downstream investment. FIPB consists of six Secretaries of the Government of India. One of them became the Governor of the Reserve Bank. Before the file moves, FIPB clearances need to be given. All Secretaries granted approval. Then the file moved within the (Finance) Department -- from the undersecretary, director, joint secretary, additional secretary and finally the minister," said Sibal.
He went on to add: "There is no allegation that I influenced the Secretaries. Each of them has come and I have been confronted with them. None of them has said that I put any influence on them. No proceedings have been initiated against the secretaries but I am the only one who has been arrested."
Alleging that there was no offence committed by his clients, Sibal added, "Nobody has taken the money and siphoned it out of India. All the money has come into the country. What is the economic offence? An ex post facto approval was given. There is no loss to the exchequer. I concede that the downstream investment of Rs 26 crore required prior approval. That approval was given ex post facto."
The Delhi HC will continue to hear the arguments in Chidambaram's regular bail in INX Media case tomorrow.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21. At present, he is in judicial custody in Tihar Jail.
He is facing a probe by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union Finance Minister. (ANI)