A Delhi court on Thursday extended the judicial custody of former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media case lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The period of Chidambaram’s judicial custody and the date has not been given by the court yet.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and is lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody in the corruption case.
During the hearing in the case, Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said, “The judicial custody extended but next date of hearing in CBI case will be decided after the hearing in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) matter.”
The hearing in the INX Media money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate is underway and it has sought 14-day custodial interrogation of the 74-year old senior Congress leader. The court had on Wednesday issued production warrant against him in the ED.
While arguing the matter, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “Earlier, the matter was argued substantially. On September 5, we had sought the custody and had argued for custodial interrogation. The Supreme Court had also accepted the need for custodial interrogation.”
“It’s not a mechanical prayer. We have material to show the requirement of an interrogation,” he said, adding that there is a separate investigation into the money laundering case.
“On September 5, the accused had volunteered to undergo custodial interrogation. The court had rejected the application at the time as the ED did not seek custody at the time. We had said we would be able to use the permissible 15 days of interrogation only after certain aspects of the investigation were completed,” he said.
Chidambaram had on Wednesday sought bail from the Supreme Court (SC), saying the probe agency wants to keep him in jail to “humiliate him”.
The CBI had on Wednesday opposed in the Supreme Court the bail plea of P Chidambaram, saying a “strong prima facie” case has been made out against him.
Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the CBI, told a bench headed by Justice R Banumathi that they have “cogent materials” about how Chidambaram had tried to influence the witnesses.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister.
Source By Indiatoday