(Image source from: Bar & Bench)
As a special Central Bureau of Investigation court ordered former Union Minister P Chidambaram to judicial custody in the INX Media case, he will be sent to Delhi’s Tihar jail and will be there till September 19.
The 74-year-old Chidambaram’s lawyer and party co-worker Kapil Sibal requested a separate cell for him, a cot, a western toilet, and medicines.
Sibal strongly argued against judicial custody and said Chidambaram was prepared to be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.
"I am willing to go to Enforcement Directorate custody if they want, but why to judicial custody? Either I surrender, let Enforcement Directorate take custody, I don't have a problem," Chidambaram had said.
But the CBI said: "The accused is a powerful and influential person, so should be sent to judicial custody." Sibal promptly hit back saying that there had been no case of tampering with or influencing evidence.
Chidambaram’s stay in the CBI's custody since the past 15 days was in a room on the ground floor of the agency's building.
The former minister was accused of money-laundering in the case involving INX Media. He allegedly misused his position as India’s Finance Minister back in 2017 with easing a huge infusion of foreign funds in INX Media at the case of his son Karti Chidambaram.
The information was rendered by INX Media co-founders Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea about Chidambaram and his son. Mukerjea couple is currently jailed in Mumbai in having links with the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora.
Karti Chidambaram, son of Chidambaram was arrested in 2018 for allegedly receiving kickbacks for his part in securing the foreign funds.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended Chidambaram's CBI custody for two days after his lawyer said he should not be sent to Tihar jail.
However, the Supreme Court refused to grant protection to Chidambaram from arrest by Enforcement Directorate.
"Anticipatory bail has to be exercised sparingly in cases of economic offenses. Considering the facts and circumstances, this is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail," the Supreme Court said, in a huge blow to Chidambaram, who has spent 15 days in CBI custody.
The court said that the investigating agency has to be given adequate freedom to conduct its investigation and the anticipatory bail by the court at this phase would hamper the investigation.
By Sowmya Sangam