Former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday (December 4) walked out of Tihar Jail after spending 106 days behind bars. Earlier on Wednesday, the senior Congress leader was granted bail by Supreme Court in the INX Media money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.
Chidambaram was granted bail by a bench headed by Justice R Banumathi, which had on November 28 reserved its judgement on the appeal filed by him in the ED case. Chidambaram had challenged the November 15 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him bail in the case.
The bench, while passing its order, directed Chidambaram to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2 lakhs along with 2 sureties of the same amount. The apex court also ordered Chidambaram to not travel abroad without its permission.
During the arguments in the case earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had claimed in the apex court that the 74-year-old former finance minister continues to wield "substantial influence" on crucial witnesses in the case even from the custody, while he said that the agency cannot "destroy" his career and reputation by making baseless allegations.
Opposing his bail plea, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, maintained that economic offences like money laundering are grave in nature as they not only affect the nation's economy but also shake people's faith in the system, especially when it is committed by people in power.
Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, told the SC that the senior Congress leader has been kept in jail “unfairly” for more than 100 days just because he is the father of Karti, who is alleged to be a key accused in the case. Sibal told the court that the ED has no evidence linking Chidambaram with the case.
It may be recalled that Chidambaram was first arrested on August 21 by CBI in the INX Media corruption case but he was granted bail on October 22 by the SC. He was arrested by the ED on October 16 in the money laundering case related to INX Media case.