2G scam, PC being flight risk rock Chidambaram bail hearing

  • Fri,18 Oct 2019 06:39:24 PM

New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS): A charge sheet was filed in the 2G case but later everybody was acquitted, said the counsel for former Union Minister P Chidambaram, while arguing in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order denying bail in the INX Media corruption case.

The response came from senior advocate Kapil Sibal after the CBI, urging Chidambaram be denied bail, told the apex court that 15 accused, including him, his son Karti Chidambaram and some companies have been chargesheeted in the case.

"If what charge sheet says is true, then he is a convict, why need a trial? See what happened in the 2G-scam... there was a judgement," Sibal said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, vehemently protested the mentioning of 2G scam while the arguments were focussed on INX Media scam. "How can 2G scam be brought into the arguments," he contended, noting that the 2G matter is subjudice and there is an appeal.

Mehta insisted that a very scientific and professional investigation resulted in this charge sheet.

During the arguments on Chidambaram's bail, Mehta argued that Chidambaram was a flight risk who has the wherewithal and sufficient facilities to survive in foreign countries. "Responsible people, who have a very high standing in the society and properties across the country, have actually fled the country...though, I am not comparing, rather, but then what is the test to decide flight risk," Mehta told a three-judge bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi.

He urged the court to examine the gravity of the offence and it will contribute towards building a strong motive for the accused to leave the country. "We as a nation, in the current scenario, facing this problem. The accused would have a motive to leave the country, as he intends not to face the trial," Mehta argued, citing the example of an accused in triple murder or rape case.

"A triple murder accused may not have wherewithal to leave the country. The second question, if I leave the country do I have sufficient infrastructure facilities in other countries to survive in foreign conditions," he argued, contending that this argument fits well in the present case of the senior Congress leader.

Mehta insisted that the agency has apprehension that Chidambaram might leave the country. "We have already burnt our fingers, and we cannot take the risk again."

Sibal said he is not convicted yet and only a charge sheet has been filed. He told the court that Chidambaram's passport has already been impounded, there is a look-out circular against him, and he never made any travel application. "Where will he run, and where would he go. He is recognized all over the world. This, flight test, is a spurious test, which is being applied to him," he told the court.

Mehta, during the hearing, also mentioned documents show Peter and Indrani Mukherjea stayed at the Oberoi hotel in the capital and used the hotel vehicle to go to meet Chidambaram.

The apex court has reserved its order on the bail plea of Chidambaram.

 

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