Congress welcomes bail to PC

Our Bureau/Agencies New Delhi | Updated on December 04, 2019

Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday walked free after 105 days in custody with the Supreme Court giving him bail in a money laundering case connected with INX Media and directing that he can’t leave the country without its permission.

Granting Chidambaram bail — a move that led to inevitable political ripples with the Congress welcoming it as truth prevailing at last and the BJP deriding the party for “celebrating corruption” — the apex court also said that the former Finance Minister could not speak to the media and should neither try to influence witnesses nor tamper with evidence.

Setting aside the Delhi High Court November 15 verdict denying the bail, a three-judge Bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, granted the relief to the 74-year-old Congress leader on a personal bond of ₹2 lakh with two sureties of the like amount.

‘No interviews’

The Bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, restrained Chidambaram from giving any press interview or making any statements with regard to the case. The top court, which observed that economic offences are grave in nature, said “grant of bail is rule and refusal is exception”. It said the Enforcement Directorate’s claim that he can tamper with evidence cannot be accepted on “face value” as he is neither in political power nor holds any post in the government.

The Congress welcomed the Supreme Court’s order granting bail to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The party said the BJP-led Government at the Centre was trying to silence him and a conspiracy was hatched to put him behind the bars.

Former president of the Congress Rahul Gandhi said Chidambaram’s 106 day “incarceration” was “vengeful and vindictive”.

Chidambaram’s son and Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram said his father is all set to return home after 106 days. “It has been a long wait. I am very grateful that the Supreme Court has given him bail. I am very grateful to entire top Congress leadership, including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who have supported him through all this,” he told reporters.

Chidambaram is likely to attend the proceedings of Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Published on December 04, 2019

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