INX Media- Delhi HC Dismisses CBI’s Plea Challenging Trial Court’s Order Allowing Inspection Of Documents By Accused Persons

The Delhi Supreme Court has dismissed the CBI’s complaint against an order by a special judge to allow the defendants, including former Minister P. Chidambaram, to see documents gathered by the agency in the Malkhana room during the investigation of the INX media case .

Judge Mukta Gupta announced the order after making the reservation in August.

In withholding the judgment, the Court reiterated that it was bound by the judgment of the Supreme Court, which found that when the list of declarations, documents and tangible items was presented under sections 207/208 Cr. PC, the magistrate should also ensure that a list of other materials (such as statements or confiscated items / documents) is provided to the accused.

The court was entitled to the Supreme Court ruling of April 20, 2021 in its Suo Moto case. referenced In Re: Issue specific guidelines regarding inadequacies and deficiencies in criminal trials.

In paragraph 11 of that case, the Supreme Court ruled as follows:

“When providing the list of declarations, documents and material objects in accordance with §§ 207/208 Cr. PC, the judge should also ensure that there is a list of other materials (such as statements or seized but unasserted items / documents) to ensure that the accused, if he believes that such documents are due to a due and fair trial are required according to Cr PC.3. can apply for corresponding orders for their surrender during the process in the interests of justice is aligned accordingly, the draft regulation has been adapted accordingly. [Rule 4(i)]”

During the previous hearings, the court had stated that the investigating authority must draw up a list of both proven and unauthorized documents each time a charge is brought.

Anupam S. Sharma, who appeared for the CBI, said that the investigation into the present case was still pending and that there was a possibility that such documents could be tampered with.

Citing a ruling by the Supreme Court, Sharma said that the Apex court had established during the investigation that secrecy was paramount.

In contesting the order of the special judge of the CBI, MK Nagpal of the 5th to observe and to note during the investigation that the accused are also entitled to copies of such documents, regardless of whether they are used by the CBI or not.

“There is no provision in Cr.PC that obliges the investigating authority to forward documents to the court on which it does not rely, nor is there a provision in Cr.PC that authorizes the magistrate to allow the accused to inspect the Documents that are neither submitted to the court nor asserted by the public prosecutor, including in the preliminary proceedings. ” The plea had said.

Against this background, the petition also stated that the right of the accused to surrender documents is a “limited right in the codified form and is the basis for a fair investigation and a fair trial”.

CBI had an FIR dated May 15, 2017 against INX Media Pvt. Ltd., Karti Chidambaram among other things because of violations according to 120B read with sec. 420 from IPC together with sec. 8, 12 (2) and 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

As the offenses are mentioned in the appendix to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, an investigation into a possible measure under the PMLA was started on the 18th.

The said FIR was registered based on allegations that Indrani Muherjea and Pratim Mukherjea, director and COO, respectively, of INX Media, entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti P Chidambaram and committed illegal acts by receiving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which above that of Foreign. approved amount lie the Investment Promotion Committee (FIPB). Another allegation was that such unauthorized downstream investments by INX Media in INX News were sunk by Karti P. Chidambram without the consent of FIPB by influencing the public servants of the FIPB unit, Department of Commerce (DEA), Department of Finance (MoF.) )

It was alleged, therefore, that due to the criminal conspiracy and influence of P. Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram, these officials were abusing their official positions and causing INX Media improper favors that caused INX Media to pay huge sums to some companies that Karti P. Chidambaram did significant amounts had been directly or indirectly interested.

The investigation showed that in a few cases, INX Media generated income from criminal activities for regularizing surplus FDI and downstream investments by INX Media and that Karti P. Chidambram received through some of its affiliated letterbox companies.

In addition, it was revealed that a forged invoice dated June 26, 2008 of Rs. 11.23.600 was filed on behalf of ASCPL, a company beneficially owned by Karti Chidambaram, for the provision of advisory services to INX Media. The investigation further revealed that in September 2008 four more forged invoices on behalf of four other companies for amounts totaling approximately 700,000 US dollars (equivalent to Rs.3.2 corer) were also posted on INX Media.

[Story to be updated after order is uploded]

Case Title: CBI v M / S INX Media Pvt Ltd. & Ors.

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