NEW DELHI: In a huge relief to former Union Minister P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted him bail in a money laundering case lodged by Enforcement Directorate in INX Media case.
Chidambaram, who has spent more than 100 days in custody, is all set to come out of Tihar jail as he had already been granted bail in CBI case in INX media scam.
A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi granted him bail and set aside Delhi High Court order which had refused to grant bail to Chidambaram and also disapproved High Court verdict for passing observations against him which was in the nature of findings on his involvement in the case.
The bench directed Chidambaram to furnish bail bonds of Rs 2 lakh with two sureties subject to satisfaction of Special Judge.
Chidambaram’s passport will remain confiscated by the trial court and he will not be able to leave country without permission and will make himself available for interrogation.
Though the apex court agrees that economic offences come within the category of grave crime, it however grants relief to Chidambaram saying the bail is the rule and jail is the exception.
The bench also directed Chidambaram not to make any public statements regarding the INX Media case and not to intimate the witnesses involved in the case.
Chidambaram was first arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case and was granted bail by the top court on October 22. The ED had arrested him on October 16 in the money laundering case.
The CBI registered its case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a 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 afterward lodged a money-laundering case.