New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday opposed former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's bail plea filed in the Delhi High Court in the INX Media case, on the grounds of "gravity of the offence and the magnitude of the financial embezzlement".
In a reply filed on the Chidambaram' petition, the CBI said that granting bail in "such cases will set a wrong precedent" in the corruption cases.
The agency submitted that the former minister received payments in India and overseas "in connection with FIPB approval and amicably settling down the issues relating to a violation of FEMA".
"That investigation conducted so far has revealed that the accused/ petitioner, while working as the Finance Minister, demanded illegal gratification against which payments were made in India as well as overseas to the Petitioner/accused and his son Karti Chidambaram by other co-accused Indrani Mukerjee and Pratim Mukerjea from various bank accounts maintained in the country as well as abroad in connection with FIPB approval and amicably resolving/settling down the issues relating to violation of FEMA by their company INX Media Pvt Ltd/INX News Pvt. Ltd," said agency in the reply.
Asserting that "sufficient evidence" is available against Chidamabaram, the agency said: "It is further submitted that the statements recorded so far also clearly corroborates the accusation against the accused/petitioner which clearly shows that the accused is the main conspirator of the enure offence, which makes it grave enough to disentitle him from seeking an order of bail from this court."
Hearing on the petition filed by Chidambaram, who is currently lodged Tihar Jail, is scheduled to take place on Monday.
On Thursday, a Delhi court extended his till judicial custody to October 3 in the corruption case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and was in its custody till September 5. On August 6, he was sent to judicial custody which was to end on Thursday.
Chidambaram, through one of his counsels, sought the court's direction for a regular check-up and adequate supplement diet in the jail, asserting that he is facing various ailments and has lost some weight during his jail-term. His counsel Kapil Sibal also said that the Congress leader was given even a chair or pillow in his cell.
Chidambaram was the Finance Minister when the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) clearance to INX Media in 2007.
He is facing probe by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged irregularities in granting clearance to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore.