After spending almost three months in prison, mostly in Delhi's Tihar jail, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has been granted bail by the Supreme Court in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
However, the former finance minister can walk out of jail after adhering to certain conditions. Chidambaram has to produce a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh with surety of the same amount to secure his release from the police custody.
The Congress leader cannot travel without permission and has to present himself for questioning whenever required, the court said. He has also been asked to refrain from making any public statements on the case, give interviews to the media or try to influence the investigation in any way.
Here is the timeline of events in the case pertaining to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.
15 May, 2017: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR in the INX Media case alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance to the group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.
16 Feb, 2018: ED lodges money laundering case in this regard. The CBI summons Chidambaram for questioning and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
30 May, 2018: Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail plea in the corruption case of CBI.
23 July, 2018: The former finance minister moves Delhi High Court for an anticipatory bail in the money laundering case of ED.
25 July, 2018: Delhi High Court grants him interim protection from arrest in both cases till 1 August related to INX Media.
Justice K Pathak while granting interim relief directed Chidambaram to cooperate with the ED's investigation as and when required and not to leave the country without the court's prior permission. The court had sought the response of the ED on the senior Congress leader's plea in which he said he was apprehending arrest.
25 Jan, 2019: Delhi High Court reserves its judgement on his anticipatory bail in both cases.
20 Aug, 2019: The anticipatory bail pleas of Chidambaram were dismissed. It also declined his request to stay the order for three days to enable him to move an appeal in the Supreme Court.
21 Aug, 2019: Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in the INX Media corruption and money laundering case from his residence, hours after the Supreme Court refused to grant an immediate hearing on his plea for interim protection from arrest and listed the matter for later on 23 August, 2019.
The CBI, which obtained an arrest warrant from a local court and took Chidambaram to its headquarters after dramatic scenes of its team scaling the walls of his Jor Bagh residence unfolded on television screens. The CBI plans to produce the former finance minister before a local court on Thursday and seek his custodial interrogation.
21 Aug, 2019: After his arrest at his residence, the former minister was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where a medical examination was done. Chidambaram kept in suit No. 5 of CBI Guest House on the ground floor of the agency headquarters, according to sources.
22 Aug, 2019: Chidambaram was sent to four-day CBI custody, which was periodically extended till 5 September.
5 Sep, 2019: In the case of ED, the Supreme Court dismissed Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court order that denied his pre-arrest bail.
5 Oct, 2019: Delhi court allows ED to interrogate Chidambaram in Tihar Jail and arrest him, if needed. The court, however, said: "It's not in the dignity of this person that you interrogate and arrest him here in public view."
It said: "The DoE (Directorate of Enforcement) cannot interrogate accused without the permission of the court, he being in custody of this court. The application therefore sought for his production in the court for the purpose of arrest and remand. Therefore, in these circumstances, the DoE can seek the permission to interrogate the accused and then if the grounds specified in section 19 of the PMLA Act are made out, arrest the accused. Accordingly, the application for arrest of accused is allowed accordingly."
16 Oct, 2019: ED questioned Chidambaram in Tihar and arrested him in the INX Media corruption case.
17 Oct, 2019: Chidambaram sent to ED's remand till 24 October.
18 Oct, 2019: CBI filed charge sheet against P Chidambaram and 13 others in INX Media case. In the chargesheet, the agency named 13 other people, including Karti Chidambaram, INX Media's Peter Mukherjea, government officials, INX Media and INX News.
The probe agency had sought 14 days of custody of the former finance minister. The ED arrested him after interrogation in Tihar jail, where he has been lodged since 5 September.
21 Oct, 2019: CBI court accepted agency's chargesheet and summoned Chidambaram on 24 October.
22 Oct, 2019: Supreme Court granted bail to Chidambaram in the corruption case.
24 Oct, 2019: Delhi court sent Chidambaram to custodial interrogation by ED till 30 October in INX Media money-laundering case.
25 Oct, 2019: CBI moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its verdict granting bail to Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case.
30 Oct, 2019: Chidambaram moved Delhi High Court seeking interim bail in INX Media money-laundering case on health grounds.
30 Oct, 2019: Delhi court sends Chidambaram to judicial custody till 13 November in the money laundering case.
13 Nov, 2019: Delhi court extends judicial custody of Chidambaram till 27 November.
15 Nov, 2019: Delhi High Court denies bail to Chidambaram in the money-laundering case.
18 Nov, 2019: Chidambaram moves Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order dismissing his bail petition.
21 Nov, 2019: Delhi High Court allowed the Enforcement Directorate to interrogate the former finance minister in Tihar jail on 22 and 23 November in the INX Media money laundering case. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar passed the order on a plea filed by the agency.
27 Nov, 2019: Delhi court extended Chidambaram's judicial custody till 11 December.
28 Nov, 2019: Supreme Court reserved verdict on Chidambaram's bail plea.
4 Dec, 2019: Supreme Court sets aside Delhi High Court's 15 November verdict denying bail to Chidambaram, who has been in custody for 105 days since 21 August, and granted him bail in the INX Media money laundering case.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2019 21:07:45 IST