Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday opposed the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) plea in the Supreme Court, seeking to send him to Tihar Jail. Chidambaram told the top court that he was ready for the Enforcement Directorate custody, hence there was no need to send him to the Tihar Jail.
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 A S 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.
Chidambaram, who was in the CBI custody since August 21, is set to end up either in ED custody or Tihar Jail. According to rules CBI can't extend his custody, and with court denying him interim bail in the case filed by the ED, he will either go to jail or the ED custody.
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.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to Chidambaram and his son Karti in Aircel Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. Special Judge OP Saini granted relief to the Chidambarams and directed them to join the probe in the cases.