New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s legal team on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that the “documents in question”, relating to his approval in the INX Media case, were obtained from Chidambaram’s wife, Nalini, and son, Karti Chidambaram.
In an affidavit filed before Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, Chidambaram’s counsel said that “the said documents have been obtained by the petitioner from his son and wife”, and were part of the Relied Upon Documents (RUD) filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the proceedings initiated before the Adjudicating Authority in which Karti and Nalini Chidambaram were made the defendants.
The court had on Friday asked Chidambaram to file an affidavit stating the source of the documents relating to the approval, which were being referred to by his lawyers during the hearing of his bail plea.
During the course of arguments, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “The entirety of this offence is a consultancy payment made to Advantage India and the whole base of it is the statement of an accused who is already in custody for the murder of her own daughter.”
“The Non-Bailable Warrant issued against Mr Chidambaram is illegal and the whole arrest was based on this illegal warrant,” he added.
Arguing on the point of gravity, Singhvi said: “The best test to judge the gravity of an offence is the length of the punishment.”
Denying the claims of the agency that Chidambaram is tampering with evidence and influencing the witness, he submitted: “They have no material, not a single call, SMS, telephone to justify their claim.”
After the conclusion of arguments, the court posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.
On Tuesday, Chidambaram’s legal team had stated that denial of bail to their client would result in his “undertrial incarceration without conviction”.
In its reply filed before the Delhi High Court on Friday, the probe agency had said that Chidambaram remained “non-cooperative” during the investigation and did not even answer the “basic” questions.
The agency further contended that there was sufficient evidence on record which revealed the role of the ex-Finance Minister in the INX Media case.
The agency said that if Chidambaram was released on bail, he would ensure that the crucial details pertaining to the case were not accessed by the probe agencies.
Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.
The ED too had filed a money laundering case against Chidambaram in this regard in 2017.