INX Media Case: Karti Chidambaram seeks separate cell in Tihar, urges court to hear his bail plea

12 March 2018, 02:31 PM
INX Media Case: Karti Chidambaram seeks separate cell in Tihar, urges court to hear his bail plea (PTI Photo)
INX Media Case: Karti Chidambaram seeks separate cell in Tihar, urges court to hear his bail plea (PTI Photo)

A trial court will pronounce its order on CBI’s plea to send Karti Chidambaram to judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case on Monday.

The court will also pass order on Karti’s plea seeking a separate cell in Tihar Jail and urgent hearing of his bail plea itself.

Karti, the son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was produced before special judge Sunil Rana on expiry of his three-day police custody.

The CBI did not seek any further custodial interrogation of Karti, who has already spent 12 days in its custody since his arrest on February 28 from Chennai airport.

The CBI has sought 15-day judicial custody of Karti who in turn has asked the court to hear his bail plea today itself instead of scheduled March 15.

Karti Chidambaram’s father P Chidambaram was also present in the courtroom.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Karti, pressed for hearing on he bail application today itself in case the court was considering sending him to judicial custody.

He also moved another application seeking a separate prison cell for Karti if he is sent to judicial custody saying that “he is the son of former union home minister and many terrorists have been prosecuted during his (P Chidambaram) tenure and there is a clear threat perception to Karti”.

“His (Karti) father P Chidambaram has dealt with stringent penal laws including TADA and MCOCA, posing a huge security threat to Karti,” the senior advocate said, adding that he needs to be secured in a separate prison and be given a separate bathroom.

“He cannot be exposed to any of these criminals,” his advocate said.

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“There is a threat. Petitioner (Karti) himself is the member of Congress. The threat exists, I hope the court to protect us. We have contemplated a situation and brought it to the court’s notice. I cannot be sent to a common bathroom. And adequate security must be given,” Krishnan submitted.

When the CBI opposed the plea for separate cell on the ground that if at all there was any threat, it was to P Chidambaram and not his son, Krishnan expressed shock and said the CBI’s objection has enhanced the threat perception.

?CBI opposing a separate prison, gives me further apprehension and shows political motive and enhances my threat perception. Organisation investigating me should be concerned about my security. Mala fide intent is there. I’m shocked that CBI can oppose my plea for security. Can it be denied?? Karti’s counsel said.

He was remanded in CBI custody for three days after the investigative agency claimed it had recovered some incriminating documents and CD from the Chennai office of Advantage Strategic Pvt Ltd., a company linked to him.

Karti Chidambaram has been in CBI custody for questioning since his arrest from Chennai Airport on February 28.

He was arrested on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year. It alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

The CBI had initially alleged that Karti Chidambaram received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media. It, however, later revised the figure to USD 1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007).

The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered Karti Chidambaram’s arrest, was based on the statement of Indrani Mukerjea, former director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate on February 17.

First Published: Monday, March 12, 2018 02:24 PM
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