The truth has finally prevailed, the Congress said on Wednesday after the Supreme Court granted bail to senior party leader P Chidambaram in the INX-Media money laundering case.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said Chidambaram's over 100 days of incarceration was "vengeful and vindictive", while expressing confidence that he will be able to prove his innocence in a fair trial.
Chidambaram's son Karti heaved a sigh of relief, tweeting, "Phew. At last after 106 days."
Later, talking to reporters, he said, "I am very happy that my father is coming home. It has been a long wait, it has been an unwanted incarceration."
Several party leaders welcomed the order granting bail to the former Union minister with Chidambaram's lawyer and Congress colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi describing the ruling as "excellent light after a rather long tunnel".
"Truth finally prevails #SatyamevaJayate," tweeted the party from its official handle.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was more circumspect and said "justice delayed is justice denied", adding the bail should have been granted much earlier.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, granted bail to the 74-year-old former Union finance minister, who has been in custody since August 21 when he was arrested by the CBI in the INX-Media corruption case. The Enforcement Directorate had arrested him on October 16 in the money laundering case.
Singhvi termed the order "balanced", "nuanced" and "comprehensive" and a great order in favour of human rights and balanced jurisprudence.
The BJP took a dig at the Congress's reaction following the Supreme Court bail, saying that Chidambaram has joined the "Out On Bail Club".
Asked about the BJP's allegations against his father, Karti told a TV channel, "If they have evidence, they must take it to the court and put it before us and not hide behind this sealed cover tactic... Nobody is saying we won't face trial. I'm happy to face trial."
He also said that Chidambaram will be in Parliament on Thursday at 11 AM.
Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot echoed the party to say truth had prevailed.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also welcomed the Supreme Court decision, while deputy leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said quest for truth has been vindicated and justice has finally prevailed.
"Clearly, he (Chidambaram) is a victim of vendetta politics which remains a threat to our Constitutional democracy," Sharma said in a tweet.
Senior Congress leader Milind Deora said imprisoning an accused for 106 days is a "travesty of justice".
"We must not forget that bail is the rule & jail is the exception. I look forward to P Chidambaram ji's much-needed suggestions for tackling India's economic slowdown," he tweeted.
The top court said Chidambaram can't leave the country without prior permission of the court and should neither try to influence the witnesses nor tamper with evidence.
The apex court set aside the Delhi High Court's November 15 verdict denying bail to him.