Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was Thursday sent to Delhi’s Tihar Jail by the Rouse Avenue Court in the INX Media case. Chidambaram, who was in the CBI custody since August 21, has been sent to judicial custody till September 19. The former finance minister had opposed the judicial custody and told the court that he was ready to go to the Enforcement Directorate’s custody.
However, the court denied his plea and sent him to judicial custody. The senior Congress leader then filed another application in the court seeking direction to ensure safe detention while in judicial custody. He also sought direction to the jail authorities to provide him adequate security and separate cell, which the court accepted.
Chidambaram is accused of granting illegal Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals to jailed media baron Indrani Mukerjea's firm INX Media in 2007, when he was the finance minsiter of the country. Accoridng to the ED, he recieved kickbacks in exchange of the illegal FIPB clearnance to the INX Media.
The kickbacks were paid to various shell companies floated by his son Karti Chidambaram on the names of his employees and other business associates, the central probe agency claimed. He, however, categorically denied the charges and said that his arrest was politically motiovated.
Earlier in the day, the Congress leader faced a setback after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking interim protection from the arrest by the ED in a money laundering case related to INX Media.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna said it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail. Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper investigation, the top court said, adding that the investigating agency should be given sufficient freedom to conduct probe into the case.