New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was produced before a Delhi court Thursday after expiry of his two-day CBI custody in the INX Media corruption case and the agency said that he be sent to judicial custody.
P Chidambaram was brought to the special court hours after he withdrew his petition challenging the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him following which he was sent to the CBI custody.
P Chidambaram’s 15-day CBI custody, ordered by the special court in five spells, which started after his arrest August 21 night, ends Thursday.
Chidambaram was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, who Tuesday sent him to CBI custody till Thursday by taking note of the the Supreme Court’s order which had said that Chidambaram would be in the CBI custody till September 5.
The apex court Thursday also decided his appeal against the Delhi High Court’s August 20 order in the money laundering case lodged by ED and rejected his challenge to denial of anticipatory bail.
It should however, be stated here that hours after the apex court order, another special court granted him and his son Karti Chidambaram anticipatory bail in the Aircel Maxis cases.
In the INX matter, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is appearing for the CBI while senior advocate Kapil Sibal is representing Chidambaram.
During the proceedings, Tushar Mehta informed the judge about the outcome of the Supreme Court’s order in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case and also about the withdrawal of his petitions in the CBI case. The CBI told the court that Chidambaram can be sent to judicial custody as he was a powerful public person and should not be set free.
Kapil Sibal opposed the CBI saying there was no allegation that P Chidambaram tried to influence or hamper probe. He further said that Chidambaram was ready to go to the ED custody in money laundering case related to INX Media in which the apex court had Thursday dismissed his plea challenging the High Court’s August 20 order.
Sibal said Chidambaram will surrender and ED will take him into custody. “Why should I (Chidambaram) be sent to jail (Tihar)?” Tihar said and pressed that ED should take him to its custody.
If the ED arrests P Chidambaram, Thursday, he will go to the Tughlaq Road police station, where another Congress leader, DK Sivakumar, is already incarcerated.
If the agency does not take Chidambaram’s custody, then until it does so, the former Finance Minister will head for the Tihar Jail, where he will be put up in a cell and treated like other prisoners. In the CBI’s custody, P Chidambaram had stayed in a room on the ground floor of the agency’s building. The air-conditioned room was well furnished, but such facilities will not be available for Chidambaram in other jails.