New Delhi: Upset over the high court's decision of rejecting his bail plea, P Chidambaram, the former finance minister, said he was treated as like nasty criminals.
“It is as if I am some Ranga, Billa. If I am not released on bail, it will send a wrong message to this country,” said Kapil Sibal, arguing for Chidambaram.
Ranga and Billa were two hardened Bombay criminals, involved in the infamous Geeta and Sanjay Chopra kidnapping case.
Chidambaram, who is in custody for over 98 days after his arrest in the INX media case, blamed the high court for not granting him bail despite rejecting the claims made by the Enforcement Directorate.
Chidambaram told a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court that the high court rejected his bail on the ground that the offence he has been accused of is serious in nature.
“If their (court’s) argument of gravity of offence is accepted, then I will never get bail,” Sibal, appearing for his 74-year-old colleague, told the bench led by Justice R Banumathi.
Ranga and Billa, cited by Chidambaram, were accused in the case that involved kidnapping and brutal murder of siblings Geeta and Sanjay by Kuljeet Singh (alias Ranga Khus) and Jasbir Singh (alias Billa). The horrific murder of the children had shocked Delhi and the nation and had led the police to launch one of India's biggest hunt for the criminals.
Ranga and Billa were eventually caught within days and hanged in 1982.
Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader, is currently lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him last month in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
The case pertained to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as the finance minister.
The High Court had, on November 15, dismissed his bail plea and observed that prima facie allegations against him were serious in nature and he played an "active and key role" in the offence.
CBI had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Later that year, the ED also lodged a money laundering case.
The Congress leader was first arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.
He was arrested by the ED in the money laundering case on October 16. He is presently in judicial custody in Tihar jail till November 27.