Delhi HC rejects Chidambaram’s bail, says will send a wrong message

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court rejected former union minister P Chidambaram’s request for bail on Friday, saying that his release from jail would send a wrong message to society, according to news agency PTI.

Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in August this year in the INX Media case. Before the Supreme Court granted him bail in this case last month, the Enforcement Directorate arrested him on charges of money laundering in a related case. By now the former union minister and senior Congress leader has spent 85 days in custody, mostly in Tihar jail.

Rejecting his bail request, Justice Suresh Kait said Chidambaram was alleged to have played an active and key role in the offence and the allegations against him were of serious nature.

The High Court, which had ended oral hearings on his bail request last week, had heard the Centre’s second most-senior law officer Tushar Mehta argue against Chidambaram’s release and emphasised that the money laundering case is more heinous and “much, much, much more serious than it meets the eye”.

“It is the gravest of grave offence as it is an economic offence which is a stand alone offence,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the high court earlier this month.

His legal team led by Kapil Sibal had argued that the senior Chidambaram’s continued detention in jail was not designed to advance the cause of justice but harm his health. Chidambaram had told the court last month that he had already lost seven kg since his custody on August 21.

Chidambaram’s lawyers are expected to approach the Supreme Court now for the former minister’s bail.

The High Court had earlier also denied bail to Chidambaram in the CBI case. That verdict was set aside by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court.