The Delhi High Court today granted former Union minister P Chidambaram interim protection from arrest till July 3 in the Central Bureau of Investigation's INX Media corruption case. Justice A K Pathak asked Chidambaram to join and cooperate in the questioning session as and when called by the CBI.
The court also sought the investigating agency's response on the Congress leader's anticipatory bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on July 3. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, opposed the anticipatory bail plea saying he was merely called for questioning.
Chidambaram had yesterday rushed to a trial court for protection from arrest in Aircel-Maxis case before approaching the Delhi High Court in connection with the INX Media case, in which he has been asked by probe agencies to join investigations.
Chidambaram's role has come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-1 regime that FIPB clearance was granted to the two ventures in which alleged irregularities have been found.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15 last year against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was finance minister.
Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram was also arrested in the matter for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case. The other accused in the case include then INX Media Director Indrani Mukerjea and then INX News Director Peter Mukerjea.