Former Union minister P Chidambaram’s request for bail has been rejected by the Delhi High Court on Friday that stressed 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.
Chidambaram has spent about 85 days in custody, mostly in Tihar prison.
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 serious in 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 emphasise that the money laundering case is more heinous and “much, much, much more serious than it meets the eye”.
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“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.
Chidambaram’s legal team led by senior lawyer Kapil Sibal had argued that the senior Congress leader’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 7 kg since his custody on August 21.
Chidambaram’s lawyers are expected to approach the Supreme Court next 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.