Granted bail in INX Media case, Chidambaram walks out of prison

Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram waves at Congress workers and supporters after he was released from Tihar jail | PTI

Hours after being granted bail by the Supreme Court in the INX Media money laundering case, former union minister P Chidambaram stepped out of Tihar jail on Wednesday (December 4) evening.

Chidambaram was greeted by scores of Congress workers who had gathered outside the prison to welcome him. The top court had earlier in the day set aside the November 15 order of the Delhi High Court that rejected the bail plea of the senior Congress leader.

The bail plea filed by Chidambaram was heard by a bench of justices AS Bopanna, R Banumathi and Hrishikesh Roy, which ordered that he be released on bail on personal bond of ₹2 lakh with two surety of like amount.

Among the conditions imposed on him, the former minister has been ordered not to leave the country without the permission of the court. Besides, he has also been directed not give interviews or make statements in connection with the case.

The Congress leader is now all set to walk free after spending 106 days in custody. He was arrested on August 21 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Also read: INX Media money laundering case: ED opposes Chidambaram’s bail plea

He was granted bail in the same case on October 22. However, the ED had arrested him by then in the money laundering case. The Congress party welcomed the verdict saying that truth has finally prevailed.

In a sign of relief, immediately the after apex court’s order, Karti Chidambaram tweeted, “Phew. At last after 106 days.”

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, however, said “Justice delayed is justice denied”, adding, “this should have been granted much earlier.”

Meanwhile, the truth has finally prevailed, the Congress said after the top court order. Several party leaders welcomed the order granting bail to the former minister, with Chidambaram’s lawyer and Congress colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi describing the ruling as “excellent light after a rather long tunnel”.

“Truth finally prevails #SatyamevaJayate,” tweeted the party from its official handle. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was more circumspect and said “justice delayed is justice denied”. The bail should have been granted much earlier, he said.

Stating that Chidambaram has joined the “Out On Bail Club”, the BJP said the Congress reaction following the Supreme Courts bail to the former minister in a money laundering case was a “classic case” of the party celebrating corruption.

Supporting the former finance minister, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated he was glad and hoped that Chidambaram will be able to prove his innocence.

Taking a dig at the opposition party, the BJP went on to name leaders such as Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said on Twitter, “Classic case of @INCIndia Celebrating Corruption!! So finally Chidambaram too joins the long list of OOBC(Out On Bail Club) in the Congress ..He joins the coveted Club,some members of which are:1)Sonia Gandhi 2)Rahul Gandhi 3)Robert Vadra 4)Motilal Vohra 5)Bhupinder Hooda 6)Sashi Tharoor Etc Etc.”

Chidambaram is allegedly responsible for irregularities in the clearance granted by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to the INX Media Group for overseas funds worth ₹305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union finance minister.

(With inputs from agencies)