New Delhi: A week after getting bail in the INX Media case, former finance minister P. Chidambaram appeared as an advocate in a domestic violence and divorce case in the Supreme Court Wednesday.
He is a counsel in the high profile divorce case involving industrialist Jaidev Shroff and his wife Poonam Bhagat.
While Chidambaram was appearing for Bhagat, Shroff was represented by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A.M. Singhvi — both had successfully argued the Congress leader’s bail in the INX Media case.
Shroff had filed for divorce from Bhagat in 2015 on the grounds of cruelty against him and his two daughters from his first wife. Bhagat subsequently alleged that she was subjected to domestic violence several times during the 11 years of her marriage with Shroff, which resulted in a miscarriage and a broken index finger.
The case against Chidambaram
Chidambaram was granted bail by a bench comprising Justice R. Bhanumathi, A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy on 4 December. He was in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody in the INX Media money laundering case.
The CBI, in its FIR, had alleged irregularities in a 2007 Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore, while Chidambaram was the finance minister.
While granting him bail, the apex court barred Chidambaram from interacting with the media for interviews or contacting any of the witnesses. The court also asserted that while “economic offences were grave” a bail was the rule and jail an exception.
Since Chidambaram was not a ‘flight risk’, the court also pointed out: “The appellant is aged about 74 years and as noted by the (Delhi) High Court itself in its order, the appellant has already suffered two bouts of illness during incarceration and was put on antibiotics and has been advised to take steroids of maximum strength.”