A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi on Friday granted interim bail to all the six bureaucrats who were part of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which granted approval to INX Media during P Chidambaram`s tenure as finance minister.
They were granted bail on an amount of Rs two lakh each and a surety of the same amount. The court has also sought the response of CBI on their regular bail applications and has put the matter for December 17. The bureaucrats had applied for bail earlier in the day.
The bureaucrats named in CBI charge sheet are--Ajeet Kumar Dungdung, the then section officer of FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance; Rabindra Prasad, the then Under Secretary FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance; Pradeep Kumar Bagga, the then Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance; Prabodh Saxena, Director, FIPB Unit, Finance Ministry; Anup K Pujari, the then Joint Secretary (Foreign Trade) and Sindhushree Khullar, the then Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
The interim bail is a temporary bail for a period in which the court can ask for documents to be presented which are required to make a final decision on the bail application. Subsequently, it can either grant permanent bail, extend interim bail or reject bail application altogether.
The CBI court had issued summons to all the accused including public servants. The summons was issued after the court had taken cognizance of CBI chargesheet which named 14 accused including P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram, S Bhaskararaman, INX Media, Peter Mukerjea, Chess Management Services Private Limited, ASCPL and six bureaucrats. Out of the 14 accused, four are companies, six are public servants and remaining are private persons.
While Chidambaram is out on bail in INX Media corruption case being probed by the CBI.
The case pertains to FIPB clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during the tenure of Chidambaram as the finance minister. CBI had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Chidambaram was first arrested by the agency on August 21, 2019, but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.