The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) petition challenging the trial Court order allowing inspection of documents kept in Malkhana room, by accused persons, including former Union Minister P Chidambaram and their counsels in the INX Media corruption case.

Delhi High Court Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta on Wednesday dismissed the CBI’s petition against an order passed by a trial Court- Rouse Avenue, allowing inspection of documents to the accused persons and their counsels. The court on August 27 had kept the order reserved after submissions by the parties.

Earlier on May 18, Delhi High Court had put a stay on the trial proceedings. The case involves a Congress leader who is a former Union Minister P Chidambaram as well and his son Karti Chidambaram including others.

CBI had recently moved to Delhi HC against an order dated March 5, passed by MK Nagpal, Special Judge (PC Act) of the trial court. The said trial court’s order directed CBI to allow inspection of the documents kept in Malkhana by the accused and 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)