A Delhi court Thursday sent former finance minister P Chidambaram to custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate till October 30 in the INX Media money laundering case. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed the ED to quiz Chidambaram and said that he be taken to AIIMS immediately in case of any medical complication. The court said that the other conditions of his custody will be the same, including on providing him home-cooked food. The probe agency had sought 7-day custodial interrogation of the 74-year old senior Congress leader.
During the hearing, Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram said that the former Union Minister is very seriously ill. “He has severe stomach pain. He has acute pain. Doctors have not been able to take care of him,” Sibal said requests that Chidambaram be taken to Hyderabad for treatment. “They never confronted Chidambaram with any witness ever, not even during this period of remand. There is no basis for extension of remand,” Sibal added.
On Wednesday, Chidambaram moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the INX Media money laundering case. Chidambaram, who was on Tuesday granted bail from Supreme Court in the INX media corruption case, continues to be in ED custody since October 17. He was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case. The case was registered 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 finance minister.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media case filed by the CBI. However, the bail does not mean Chidambaram will walk free. He is in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody, hence the ex- Finance Minister will remain in jail. It should be noted that the bail granted by the top court will not have any impact on the ED case. The Supreme Court also made it clear that Chidambaram won’t be able to leave the country without the permission of the trial court.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017. Chidambaram had approached the Supreme Court seeking bail in the INX Media case lodged by CBI after the Delhi High Court on September 30, denied him the relief. He had not filed the bail plea before the trial court.
Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017. The 74-year-old senior Congress leader approached the apex court challenging the September 30 verdict of the high court which had dismissed his bail plea in the INX Media corruption case, filed by the CBI, saying the probe was at an advanced stage and the possibility of his influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
(With agency inputs)