INX Media Case: Delhi HC reserves order on CBI plea challenging trial Court order allowing inspection of documents by accused

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Former Union Minister P Chidambaram (File photo)
Former Union Minister P Chidambaram (File photo)

New Delhi [India], August 27 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition challenging the trial court order allowing inspection of documents kept in Malkhana room by the accused persons, including former Minister P Chidambaram and their counsels in connection with INX Media corruption case.

Earlier on May 18, Delhi High Court had stayed trial proceedings in the case, which involves Congress leader former Union Minister P Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram and others.

The bench of Justice Mukta Gupta decided to reserve the order after conclusion of the submissions made by both sides. The bench had also sought responses of the accused on the CBI plea by the last date of hearing.

CBI had recently moved against an order passed by MK Nagpal, Special Judge (PC Act) of the trial court dated Match 5, and directed CBI to allow inspection of documents kept in Malkhana by the respondents/accused/their counsels.

The plea also sought direction from the court to set aside the observations made in the trial court order, under which the petitioner (CBI) is required to file or produce all the documents collected during the course of the investigation of the case before the court, and that the accused are also entitled to copies of such documents or inspections thereof, irrespective of the fact that whether they are being relied upon by the petitioner (CBI) or not.

The CBI in the petition stated that the right of the accused with regards to the disclosure of documents is a limited right as codified and is the very foundation of a fair investigation and trial.

"On such matters, the accused cannot claim an indefeasible legal right to claim every document of the police file or even the portions which are permitted to be excluded from the documents annexed to the report under Section 173(2) as per orders of the Court," the plea said.

CBI had registered the case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the Union Finance Minister.

Thereafter, the ED had also lodged a money laundering case. The economic offences watchdog had registered a PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case based on FIR by the CBI and alleged that irregularities took place in the FIPB clearance to INX Media. (ANI)

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