Right to default bail

Reading time: 8-10 minutes.

Recently the Madras High Court clarified an order of the Supreme Court given in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Madras HC in Settu v The State [Crl OP(MD) NO. 5291/2020], held that the Apex Court’s March 23 order granting an extension of the limitation period for various laws would not apply to the right to default bail as granted under section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Justice G R Swaminathan observed that a denial of the right to default bail would imply a denial of the right to liberty granted by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. He observed:

Personal liberty is too valuable a fundamental right. Article 21 states that no person shall be deprived of his personal liberty except in accordance with the procedure established by law. So long as the language of Section 167 (2) of CrPC remains as it is, I have to necessarily hold that the denial of compulsive bail to the petitioner herein will definitely amount to a violation of his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.”

The Court further clarified that the intention of the Supreme Court in its order is not to deprive the rights of a person. Such an interpretation would render the rights provided by Article 21 as nullified. Instead, it was to ease the difficulties faced by litigants due to the spread of coronavirus. The order was to ensure that neither the litigants nor their lawyers have to be physically present while filing cases. Thus, as long as the language of section 167 (2) of the CrPC remains as it is, it must be necessarily held that the denial of default bail amounts to a violation of his fundamental rights.

The Madras HC also observed that the Apex Court had not specified that the extension of limitation would apply to police investigations as well. The failure of the State Police to complete investigation on time cannot be hidden by invoking Supreme Court’s order.

What is default bail?

It was Supreme Court’s view in Rakesh Kumar Paul v State of Assam, (2017) 15 SCC 67, that in matters of personal freedom, the courts cannot and should not be too technical and must lean in favor of personal liberty. The generic principle of criminal law is that “a person is innocent until proven guilty.” From even before the registration of an FIR till the completion of the trial, the law provides for many provisions of bail. In countless cases, the Supreme Court has held that bail is a person’s absolute right (in bailable offenses). Granting of bail is the rule while sending to jail is the exception. Very often, we hear about anticipatory bail or regular bail. But, there is one more type of bail that is relatively less known. This is called default bail.

The right to default bail is also an absolute and indefeasible right of the accused. Section 167(2) lays down the provisions regarding this right. This section provides a specified period beyond which the accused cannot be kept in custody. On the expiry of such a period, if the police have not completed their investigation and filed the charge-sheet, the accused can seek default bail. This right accrues from the failure of the police. It acts as an incentive for the police to do timely investigations while also protecting the right to liberty of the accused.

Salient features

Following are the salient features of the right to default bail:

  • Right to default bail is provided under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • It is an indefeasible right of the accused
  • It gets invoked when the police fail to complete the investigation within the prescribed period
  • The failure to file a charge sheet within 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, gives birth to this right
  • Such a failure divests a power to the concerned Magistrate to grant default bail to the accused if he “is prepared to and does furnish bail”
  • It is only on the failure to file a charge-sheet that the right to default bail arises. Such a right is lost if the charge-sheet is filed within 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be
  • The accused must make an application, written or oral for the grant of default bail
  • In case the accused fails to furnish bail, this right would be extinguished

Legal provisions regarding it

Following are the relevant provisions w.r.t. to the right to default bail:

  • Section 57, CrPC: This section states that a person who is arrested without a warrant cannot be detained in custody beyond a period of 24 hours. Such a person has to be produced before the concerned Magistrate. The period of custody can go beyond 24 hours if specified so by a special order granted under section 167.
  • Section 167(2), CrPC: Section 167 of CrPC lays down provisions for cases when investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours. Subsection 2 of this section empowers the Magistrate to send the accused in the custody of 15 days at a time. It further states that the total period of such detention shall not exceed beyond:
  • 90 days, where the offense is punishable with death, life imprisonment, or imprisonment of 10 years,
  • 60 days, where the investigation relates to an offense other than those specified above.

If the police are unable to complete investigation and file a charge-sheet within 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, then the accused has the right to be released on bail. This is his right to default bail. As per this section, the accused shall be released on bail if he “is prepared to and does furnish bail”.

Explanation I clarifies that the accused will continue to be custody until he furnishes bail.

  • Chapter XXXIII, CrPC: Chapter XXXIII of CrPC contains sections 436 to 450. It deals with provisions w.r.t. bail and bonds. A person released on bail under section 167(2) is deemed to be released under the provisions of this chapter.
  • Article 21, Constitution of India: Article 21 states that no person can be deprived of life or liberty except according to the procedure established by law.

Following are some landmark cases on right to default bail:

  • Rakesh Kumar Paul v State of Assam, (2017) 15 SCC 67

In this case, the accused was charged with an offense under Section 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The said offense was punishable by “imprisonment for a period of not less than four years, but that can be extended to ten years”. The State thus argued that since the accused might end up with imprisonment of up to 10 years, the date on which the accused can request a default bond would begin after completion of 90 days. However, the Apex Court was of the view that the accused in this case had fulfilled all the requirements to seek default bail under section 167(2) of CrPC.

  • The Court held that the 90-days criterion is only for offenses punishable with death, life imprisonment, or imprisonment of a minimum of 10 years. For offenses that are punishable with minimum imprisonment that is less than 10 years and where the maximum punishment is not death or life imprisonment, then the accused becomes entitled to the right to default bail after the expiry of 60 days on the failure of filing of charge-sheet.
  • Sanjay Dutt v State through CBI, Bombay, (1994) 5 SCC 410

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has laid down several guidelines in case w.r.t. section 167, CrPC. These guidelines specified that the completion of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, accrues an indefeasible right in favor of the accused for grant of bail. This right arises from the failure of the investigative agencies to complete investigations and file the charge sheet within the prescribed time. He becomes entitled for a release on bail if he is prepared to and furnishes bail. If he is unable to furnish bail and investigation is complete, then such a right would extinguish.

  • Aslam Babalal Desai v State of Maharashtra, (1992) 4 SCC 272

In this case, the Supreme Court pointed towards the “legislative anxiety” found in sections 57 and 167 of CrPC. These sections express the urgency with which the investigation must be completed within the prescribed period once a person is deprived of his liberty. Proviso (a) to section 167(2) provides a maximum period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be. It was introduced to allow the investigative agencies to complete the investigation within the maximum stipulated time. The Court further held that if the investigation is not completed within this maximum period, the accused is entitled to be the right to default bail. It was also held that section 167 does not give any power to cancel bails. Such power is only available under section 437 or 439 of CrPC.

Critical analysis

On perusal of various Supreme Court judgments, it can be observed that the right to default bail under section 167(2) of the Code proceeds under the premise that the accused must either “make use of” or “enforce his right to be released on bail”. The Court has to ascertain whether the accused is prepared to furnish bail. In other words, the Magistrate’s exercise of power depends on the application by the accused. If the magistrate receives no such application, he has no power to release the accused. The application can either be written or oral.

The right to bail under section 167(2) is absolute and indefeasible. It is a legislative mandate and not the discretion of the court. If the investigating agency fails to file a charge sheet before the 90/60 days expiration, as the case may be, the accused in custody should be released on bond. At this stage, the merits of the case are not to be examined. This absolute right, however, depends upon the ability of the accused to furnish bail. If he is unable to do so even after the Court’s direction, his absolute right is extinguished. Thus, this right does not take into account the financial condition of an accused.

Conclusion

There exists an indefeasible right to default bail under section 167(2) of CrPC. The Magistrate is empowered to release the accused after the stipulated time and on the failure of the investigative agencies to file a charge sheet. The 90/60 days period as specified in section 167(2) begins to run from the date the magistrate hands the accused into custody. This may not necessarily be the date of arrest. In cases where the defendant has submitted a request for bail, he is deemed to have “validated” his right. In such cases, the magistrate must approve a bond order upon the expiration of the stipulated period. The provisions of section 167 of the Code would apply to all offenses unless specified otherwise. The right to default bail is a statutory right and cannot be taken away. The recent extension of limitation by the Supreme Court would not apply to this right.

Author: Sanjana seth from School of Law, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) Dehradun.

Editor: Shalu Bhati  from Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

Concept of anticipatory bail

Reading time: 8-10 minutes.

In recent news, the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Mr Zafarul Islam Khan moved the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on 8 May 2020 seeking an anticipatory bail under section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as Code) and quashing of the FIR against him under Section 482 of the Code. In his petition, he has sought the said remedy by claiming that the case registered against him is frivolous and bad in law and his arrest is untenable. He has further prayed that the Hon’ble Court ensures that his mobile phone and laptop are not seized, and no coercive action is taken against him. He is being represented by Ms Vrinda Grover, Ms Ratna Appnender and Mr Soutik Banerjee. The next date of hearing finalised by the Hon’ble Court is 12 May 2020.

Mr Khan was booked under sedition after he uploaded a post on social media thanking Kuwait after the country had highlighted the issues of Muslims in India. It also stated that Kuwait’s gesture of solidarity is appreciated however Indian Muslims do not require external help. A week later, on May 6, the Delhi police arrested him from his residence.

Significance of the development

Mr Khan has claimed in his petition that the post was made in pursuance of his capacity as the Chairperson of the Delhi Minorities Commission to address rampant incidences of communalisation of the Covid-19 pandemic. He has submitted that the arrest is in violation of his freedom of speech as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution and the media coverage was distorted to the point where the petitioner had to bear the brunt of public hatred. He has further claimed that he received no notice for interrogation. The police paid a visit to his residence and orally asked him to accompany them for interrogation, instead which is against Section 41A of the Code. which mandates that a written notice of interrogation needs to be given.

This development of application of anticipatory bail and quashing of FIR is significant as the petitioner is a 72 years old public servant who suffers from hypertension and heart disease. Moreover, the pandemic conditions in the country are an added worry for Mr Khan who, in his aged and already ailing state, is highly susceptible to the virus. In addition to this, the petition states that he needs to be granted protection from this allegedly coercive action to protect his liberty and right to life as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.

What is anticipatory bail?

Bail is the conditional or provisional release of a person who was held under legal custody in matters that are awaiting judicial pronouncement on the promise that they appear in Court as and when required. They also deposit security or collateral before the Court.

Anticipatory Bail is enshrined in Section 438(1) of the Code. This provision allows any person to seek bail in anticipation of an arrest after he is accused of committing a non-bailable offence. This direction to release on bail can be issued even before the arrest is made

Objectives and purposes

The object of arrest while under trial is to ensure the presence of the accused at all court hearings. If this presence can be reasonably ensured without detaining a said person, it would be unfair to deprive such person of his liberty while the criminal proceedings are ongoing. It relies on the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Anticipatory bail is a way to safeguard the right to personal liberty of a person to protect them from arbitrary arrests. This was held in the case of Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia vs State of Punjab (1980 AIR 1632) wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held that  Section 438(1) should be interpreted in the light of Article 21.

The Law Commission of India, in its 41st Report, reiterated the importance of the provision of anticipatory. It states that sometimes influential persons implicate their rivals in frivolous cases and with such cases rising, it is imperative for the Code to have a provision for anticipatory bail. It is only after this report that the provision was added to the Code. This was also held by the court in K. Gajendra Baidu Vs State of (A.P 1992 (3) ALT 27)

Legal provisions

 Simply put, Section 438 of the Code is the provision that talks about anticipatory bail. This term, however, is nowhere described in the Code. It can only be invoked when a person has been accused of committing a non-bailable offence. Anticipatory Bail can be granted by either the Court of Sessions or the High Court as per Section 438(1). No period for the limit of the order of anticipatory bail has been specified in said section. This also been reiterated in S Mhetre vs State of Maharashtra & Ors. ((2011) 1 SCC 694) wherein it was held that the duration of an order granting bail cannot be limited by time. The bail shall be in effect till the conclusion of the trial unless it is cancelled by the court as under Section 437(5) or Section 439(2) of the Code on grounds known to law. It is not mandatory that to apply for anticipatory bail, FIR must have been filed.

In Section 438 of Cr.P.C,

  1. The first part of the section sets out the conditions under which a person can make an application for anticipatory bail.
  2. The second part confers jurisdiction on the High Court or the Court of Session.

Anticipatory bail cannot be claimed as a matter of right, it is essentially a statutory right conferred long after the coming into force of the Constitution. The Court would grant or refuse anticipatory bail after taking into considering the following factors, namely

  1. The nature and gravity of the accusation.
  2. The antecedents of the applicant including the fact as to whether the accused has previously undergone imprisonment on conviction by a Court in respect of any cognizable offence.
  3. The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice; and
  4. Where the accusation has been made with the object of injuring or humiliating the applicant by having him so arrested, either reject the application forthwith or issue an interim order for the grant of anticipatory bail.

Section 438(2) enshrines the conditions that courts can impose while granting anticipatory bail. These are the conditions: –

  1. The person must ensure his availability for interrogation as and when required.
  2. The person must not try to influence witnesses.
  3. The person shall not leave India without obtaining permission from the Court.
  4. Any other conditions that can be imposed on a person who has been let out by way of regular bail.

Section 438(1-A) mandates that a notice be given to the Public Prosecutor, not less than 7 days, to allow them to present their case before the final order of anticipatory bail is issued.

Who can apply for anticipatory bail? – A person apprehending arrest by Magistrate for remanding him to custody under S. 209 can apply for anticipatory bail under Section 438. The expression of anticipatory bail is a convenient mode of conveying that it is possible to apply for bail in anticipation of arrest.

This is an exceptional power and should be exercised only in exceptional cases and not in general cases. The consideration governing the exercise of discretion for granting anticipatory bail are materially different from those of an application for bail. Anticipatory is not to be granted as a matter of rule, should be granted only when a special case is made out and the Court is convinced that the person is of such a status that he would not misuse his liberty.

When the Court grants anticipatory bail, what it does is to make an order that in the event of arrest, a person shall be released on bail. Manifestly there is no question of release on bail unless a person is arrested and, therefore, it is only on arrest that the order granting anticipatory bail becomes operative.

Critical analysis

A court needs to keep the following in mind before granting anticipatory bail

  1. The gravity of the accusations made and their nature.
  2. The previous history of the conduct of the accused person, if they have been convicted for some cognizable offence before etc.
  3. The possibility of the accused of fleeing.
  4. The role of the person in the commission of a said offence
  5. Chances of the said person influencing the investigation, tampering the evidence or intimidating the witnesses in any way.

It has been called an extraordinary power in various judicial pronouncements. This, however, does not mean that it must be permitted in extraordinary circumstances only. Any discretion granted to any authority needs to be carried out with care and circumspection dependent upon the facts and circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice. It must be granted cautiously and to safeguard the legitimate rights of the applicant. The power of the Court to grant anticipatory bail seems to be unguided. However, it needs to be exercised per limits enshrined in Section 438 of the Code that pertain to the power of granting bail.

A blanket order of anticipatory bail cannot be passed i.e. order of anticipatory bail cannot be of the effect that the applicant, whenever arrested, for any offence whatsoever shall be released upon such arrest. The applicant must disclose specific details and facts so that the court can judge the reasonableness of the apprehension of the arrest of the applicant. Mere fear cannot be a factor to grant anticipatory bail. The applicant, while making his case to obtain anticipatory bail, has to necessarily establish that he has reason to believe that he may be arrested.

This provision, however, is not devoid of controversy. It invites a lot of criticism for eating up precious judicial time with powerful persons accused of heinous crimes flooding courts with their anticipatory bail applications. Moreover, popular criticism calls it a facility only available to the rich and powerful, who can engage in hiring counsels. Even though there exists a fundamental right to gain legal counsel, it is available only after a person has been charged. In cases of applying for anticipatory bail, it is done before a person has been charged. The courts are largely silent on this. The Hon’ble High Court of Kerala ruled in Sreedharan T. and Ors. v. Sub Inspector of Police and Anr. (2009CriLJ1249) that anticipatory bail may be sought by seeking legal aid.

Conclusion

Anticipatory bail is one of the most hotly debated subjects in the Indian criminal system. While, on one hand, it is said to be the custodian of the fundamental right of life and liberty of an individual, it is also seen as a way to waste judicial time. In a country that already battles extreme pendency of cases, the stakes do seem high.

Arbitrary and motivated arrests are an unfortunate reality in India and are only rising. Therefore, it would not be wise to strike down the provision of anticipatory bail as doing so would be detrimental to the guaranteed right of liberty. What is essential is that a balance always is maintained between the personal liberty of an individual and the need to maintain law and order in society. The courts should exercise their discretion wisely and in ways that are just and fair, keeping in mind the principles of natural justice.

Author: Mannat Marwah from Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA.

Editor: Harinie.S from Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad.

Bail jurisprudence in India

Reading time: 6-8 minutes.

A country’s criminal law system can be ideal when it strikes a balance between protecting the rights of individuals and rights of public at large. There are many practices intertwined in the practice of the criminal jurisprudence with the objective of maintaining law and order in the society. The provision of Bail is one such practice which has earned more criticism than appraisals in the recent past.

Recently,  The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justices R. Banumathi, S. Bopanna and H. Roya has granted Mr. Chidambaram, an ex -Minister bail in the INX Media Case. The case revolves around the grant of the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearance to the INX Media Group in 2007. Justice Bopanna remarked that “Bail is rule, refusal is exception.”

This is the rule which most of the courts follow in deciding whether to grant bail or not because when bail is refused, a man is deprived of his personal liberty, which is of too precious a value under our constitutional system, recognized by Articles 19, 21 and 22.

What is Bail?

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, Bail is defined as “Procuring the release of a person from legal custody, by undertaking that he/she shall appear at the time and place designated and submit him/herself to the jurisdiction and judgment of the court.”

A precise definition of bail was provided by the Supreme Court in Sunil Tulchand Shah v. Union of India in which it was held that “Bail is a security obtained from a person arrested regarding an offence for the purpose of securing his presence during the course of trial.”

In the case of Superintendent and Remembrance of Legal Affairs vs. Amiya Kumar Roy Chowdary, the Court held that the law of bails, “has to be dovetail two conflicting demands, namely, on one hand, the requirements of society for being shielded from the hazards of being exposed to the misadventures of a person alleged to have committed a crime; and on the other, the fundamental canon of criminal jurisprudence viz., the presumption of innocence of an accused till he is found guilty.”

Historical development

The concept and usage of bail can be dated back to 339 BC. The system of bail was introduced with the practice of a concept known as circuit courts in Britain during medieval times. In India, the provision of bail is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, specifically, Sections 436 to 450. 

It specifies the offences for which bail can and cannot be granted which depends on the intensity and severity of the offence. It is the discretion of the court to decide the bail amount on the basis of the offence and the economic status of the person. There are mainly three types of bail in India; Regular, Interim and Anticipatory Bail.

Grounds on which bail can denied

In many cases, the considerations and grounds for granting and refusal of bail have been interpreted by courts. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of State of Maharashtra vs. Sitaram Popat Vetal has stated few factors to be taken into consideration, before granting bail, namely:

  1. The nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence;
  2. Reasonable apprehension of tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant;
  3.  Prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge.

Courts must deny bail only under three conditions- One, the person charged with the crime is likely to flee. Two, the accused is likely to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses. Three, the person is likely to repeat the same crime if granted bail. These grounds should be considered by courts by evaluating the factors as provided in the S.P Vital case.

Problems with Indian Bail System

In the famous case of Narasimhulu v. Public Prosecutor, Justice Krishna Iyer remarked that “The subject of bail belongs to the blurred are of the criminal justice system and largely hinges on the hunch on the bench, otherwise called judicial discretion.”

It is imperative that discretion must be exercised with caution and care and must be applied by balancing the interests of both justice and personal liberty of individuals. It must not be arbitrary, vague and fanciful, but legal and regular.

The recent trend of arbitrariness in exercising discretion has been a serious roadblock in achieving the ends of justice. In cases involving high profile individuals, bail is granted without considering the enormity of the case.

These individuals walk free when the people affected by them reel in injustice. It has become a norm than an aberration in most jurisdictions including India that the powerful, rich and influential obtain bail promptly and with ease, whereas the mass/ common / the poor languishes in jails.

Another major problem in the bail system is the amount of bail bonds set by the court. The economic and financial situation of a person and must be considered before courts reach a decision regarding the amount of bail.

From the analysis of data and statistics in the Law Commission Report, it can be observed that a majority of under trial prisoners i.e, 70.6% are illiterate or semi illiterate which is an indicator of poor economic background.

They are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy coupled with a continuous violation of their right to personal liberty and dignity. Accused person’s economic status appears to have become the decisive factor for granting pre-trial release.

Suggestions and conclusions

The provision of bail plays an important role in balancing the interests sought to be protected under the criminal law jurisprudence. Courts must take precaution in ensuring that discretion does not defeat its own purpose. Protection of liberty and dignity of individuals is of utmost importance and courts must either grant or refuse bail by keeping in mind the values of equality, good conscience and justice. The bail jurisprudence needs to be revamped with stronger and effective reforms.

A system of checks and balances, in the form of a competent authority, has to brought into force targeting at the arbitrary exercise of discretion by courts. Bail procedures for the economically marginalized section of the society must be carried without much delay and formalities which would otherwise result in a flagrant violation of their Fundamental rights.

Author: Tressa Maria Joseph from SLS, Hyderabad.

Editor: Tamanna Gupta from RGNUL, Patiala.

All you need to know about the INX Media case

Reading time: 3-4 minutes.

The INX Media case is back in the limelight with the recent arrest of senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram by CBI and ED. This arrest came after the declaration of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court that the INX media case is a “classic case of money laundering” and when the court was of clear opinion that Chidambaram’s arrest was a necessity for interrogation regarding efficient and effective investigation of the case.

Mr. Chidambaram is being questioned about the alleged irregularities on his behalf in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearances to the media group for getting overseas funds amounting to approximately Rs. 305 crores by both the investigation agencies. This act was supposedly committed by him when he was the finance minister under the UPA-I government (2004-9).

What is the background of this case?

In the year 2007, businessman Peter Mukherjee and his wife Indrani Mukherjee co-founded a media group with the name of INX Media. On 31st of May 2007, FIPB allowed INX media to get a foreign investment of Rs. 4.62 crores contrary to which the INX Media received rather a sum of Rs. 305.36 crores in violations of the rules laid down by the FIPB.

Also, INX media started pumping a downstream investment of approx. 26% in the INX News without any approval from FIPB. In January 2010, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Finance Ministry found some kind of anomaly in money flow from three Mauritius based firms into INX Media. And that is when this came under the scanner of ED. ED registered a case for alleged violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act against INX Media.

In the year 2017, this case again garnered some spotlight when in May the CBI filed an FIR alleging some irregularities in FIPB’s clearance to INX Media to receive overseas funds of Rs. 305 crores in 2007 when Mr. P. Chidambaram was the finance minister.

Between 2017 and 2018, a lot happened in this case where Madras HC issued an order which got overturned by the Hon’ble SC. CBI came into picture when it claimed that it had furnished details on possible transactions in foreign countries and other alleged offshore properties of Karti Chidambaram (son of P. Chidambaram). Karti moved to SC challenging the summon issued by CBI.

Then in 2018, in the month of February, Karti Chidambaram got arrested by CBI at the Chennai Airport. Delhi HC sent him to one day police custody in the INX Media case. In 2019, already jailed Indrani Mukherjee decided to become an approver in the case. In August 2019, a bail application of Mr. P. Chidambaram got rejected by the Delhi HC. And finally, the recent incident of CBI detaining Chidambaram and taking him to headquarters for interrogation took place on 21st August 2019.

What are the various legal issues involved?

There are certain significant legal issues involved in the case of INX Media. It has already been declared by the Delhi HC that this case is clear example of a money launderig. The legal issues involved in the case are:

  • Allegations of bribery by the company’s promoters.
  • Conditions laid down by the FIPB for the grant of FDI to be received by INX Media to be 4.62 crores was violated severely.
  • Allegations have been made against the company to have been indulged in a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram to get the issue addressed amicably by influencing public servants in FIPB.

Probable future course…

After the arrest of Mr. Chidambaram in the INX Media case, the probable future course in front of him and his legal team seems a bit complex. As Mr. Chidambaram is a Rajya Sabha member, the rules of procedure and conduct of business of the Rajya Sabha state that if a member is arrested or sentenced to imprisonment, the executive authority has to “immediately intimate” the chairman of the House.

As the arrest has already happened and Mr. Chidambaram has already been sent to 5 days’ custody, the anticipatory bail plea becomes infructuous. Thus, the lawyers of Mr. Chidambaram will have to file immediately for bail which will first be mentioned before a magistrate. If rejected, it will be appealed in the Delhi High Court and in case it gets rejected there as well, the order can then be challenged in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Even in case that the bail is granted, the CBI can also challenge that order in higher court.

This article is brought to you in collaboration with Aprajita Jha from National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam.