Chidambaram gets bail, but to stay in jail

The Supreme Court today granted bail to former union finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case.

However, Chidambaram will have to stay in the prison, as he is currently in ED’s custody in connection with a separate money laundering case.

A three-member apex court bench led Justice R Banumathi granted bail to the former FM. Chidambaram will have to surrender his passport and submit himself for investigations when required.

The relief from the Supreme Court for Chidambaram came on Tuesday — around two months after he was arrested. The bench granted bail to Chidambaram on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with one surety of the like amount. The SC also added that Chidambaram be released on bail if not required in any other case.

The probe agency has claimed in the final report that Chidambaram “misused his official position”, in conspiracy with his son Karti and others, in approving an FDI proposal of INX Media and INX News Pvt Ltd in lieu of “illegal gratification” in India and through offshore payments.

Chidambaram was in Tihar, Asia’s largest prison facility, for more than a month. Earlier this month, the court allowed the probe agency to question Chidambaram in its custody and allowed home-cooked food, a separate cell, a western toilet, spectacles and medicines for the veteran leader.

The bail order does not have any immediate effect since Chidambaram is now in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate in a related money laundering case. He will need bail in that case too to be a free man.