P Chidambaram, Under ED custody, Rushed To AIIMS After His Health Deteriorates

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 28 October 2019, 06:24 PM
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption. (Photo Credit : PTI )

The Congress leader is currently under ED custody in connection with the INX Media money laundering case. A Delhi court had allowed the ED to quiz Chidambaram in custody till October 30. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had also directed it 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 providing him home-cooked food.

The probe agency had sought 7-day custodial interrogation of the 74-year old senior Congress leader. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the former minister is very ill and sought 2-day interim bail for treatment in Hyderabad.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, opposed the plea and said it would be a serious miscarriage of justice if the agency's investigation is curtailed.

Mehta told the court that documentary evidence has come to light which shows Chidambaram's connection to money laundering.

"Three kind of evidence has come forward - e-mails exchanged between family members and co-conspirators, details of benami properties beneficially owned by the family members and co-conspirators and statements of witnesses and others who owned or were associated with the benami properties. The arrestee need to be confronted with the new evidence," he claimed.

The law officer further said that Chidambaram has answered 65 questions and after that his pace decreased while answering specific queries supported by "clinching" documents and "incriminating" materials during interrogation.

"Given the volume of the materials and his pace, his interrogation could not be completed," Mehta said and sought more time from the court.

He told the court that there were "glaring discrepancies" between statements of witnesses, co-conspirators and Chidambaram and therefore he needs to be confronted with witnesses and new evidence that has come forward.

Earlier on October 5, Chidambaram was taken to the AIIMS for a medical examination after he complained of stomach ache.

Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case and is currently in the ED custody in a related money laundering matter.

The CBI had registered an FIR 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 the finance minister.

Thereafter, the Enforcement Directorate lodged a money-laundering case in this regard in 2017.

The ED had taken him in custody on October 16 this year which ended Thursday.

The Supreme Court had on October 22 granted bail to Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI saying he is neither a "flight risk" nor is there a possibility of "his abscondence from the trial".

First Published: Monday, October 28, 2019 06:08 PM
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