Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who has been fighting a legal battle to secure his bail in the INX Media case, made an unusual offer. During the hearing in special court on Thursday, Chidambaram offered to remain in the CBI custody till September 2. Appearing on behalf of ex-Union Minister, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, "I am offering myself to remain in CBI's custody till September 2. Enforcement Directorate should not have any problems with the offer. My CBI remand is coming to an end tomorrow in the CBI's case".
Arrested on August 21 after high-voltage drama captured by news media, Chidambaram’s CBI custody ends today. Today’s hearing will be crucial for the senior Congress leader because in case the special court refuses to grant his custody to the CBI, Chidambaram may be sent to Tihar Jail situated in Delhi. The former Finance Minister is accused of okaying FIPB clearance for INX Media in lieu of alleged kickbacks, which were directed to shell companies owned by his son Karti Chidambaram.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday said it will pronounce on September 5 the order on plea of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate. A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna also extended interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram till next Thursday.
The court refused to comment on it after solicitor general Tushar Mehta said that extension of remand can only be done before the CBI court. The bench also directed the ED to place before it in a sealed cover the material which the probe agency wanted to produce for the court's perusal.
The top court said it will decide on the question whether it should look into the documents placed before it by the ED in a sealed cover. Chidambaram's plea in the apex court has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the ED.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the 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. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.