The Delhi High Court quashed a CBI plea regarding the INX media money laundering case and allowed former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram to view documents pertaining to the case, which the CBI had opposed. The bench headed by Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed the plea which was seeking to overturn a trial court directive that would permit the accused to allow inspection of documents kept in the 'malkhana'.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had earlier argued that allowing inspection of the documents would violate the principle of 'ultimate justice'. Though the accused had a right to fair trial, the high profile nature of the accused - an ex-minister and his son - meant there were high levels of corruption involved and that they also had the influence and opportunity to tamper with evidence.
The case relates to a First Information Report registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017, against alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance provided to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007 when Mr. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. It is alleged that the then-owners of INX Media - Indrani and Peter Mukerjea - had approached Karti Chidambaram to use his influence to cover up financial irregularities that the Income Tax Department had been questioning them about.
In 2018, testimony by Indrani Mukherjee revealed that a $1 million deal had been arranged with Karti Chidambaram to secure FIPB approval for INX Media upon which the Enforcement Directorate had siezed several international properties related to Karti Chidambaram in the UK and Barcelona. P Chidambaram was arrested in a dramatic sequence of events in 2019 and spent a total of 105 days in Tihar Jail before being granted bail in October 2019. He has denied any and all allegations of money laundering and stated that he would 'respect the law' in this case.