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Published On: Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

Chidambaram sent to CBI custody for 4 days in INX Media case

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image (1)NEW DELHI : A Delhi court today allowed four-day CBI custody of Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case.
Special CBI court allowed the CBI a four-day custody of Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar asked the agency to conduct medical examination of Chidambaram per rules. The court has allowed family members and lawyers of Chidambaram to met him for half an hour every day during the CBI custody.
Mr Chidambaram’s wife Nalini Chidambaram and son Karti Chidambaram were present in court. Karti Chidambaram has been named in the case as a recipient of kickbacks.  CBI had sought 5-day custody of Chidambaram for interrogation in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media when he was finance minister.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI, said, Chidambaram was in conspiracy with others in the INX Media scam. He said, Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth the larger conspiracy and he is required to be confronted with documents. Chidambaram was arrested by CBI last night from his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi, was produced in the Court this afternoon.
Ruling out Mr Chidambaram’s contention that he had answered all the questions of the agency the one and only time he was questioned in the case, special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said, “Considering all the facts, custody is justified”.
The Congress leader was arrested after he failed to get protection from the Supreme Court, which on 21 August, decided to hear his petition seeking a stay order on 23 August.
Chidambaram has approached the apex court against the high court’s August 20 verdict. The Supreme Court sent the  plea to be heard before a bench headed by Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna.
The investigators have alleged that in 2007, Mr Chidambaram facilitated a huge transfusion of foreign funds to INX Media — then owned by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea — during his tenure as the finance minister in the UPA government. His son Karti Chidambaram had received kickbacks for the arrangement, the investigators said.
Indrani Mukerjea, who turned approver in the case, has alleged that Mr Chidambaram instructed them to help Karti Chidambaram in his businesses in exchange for the approval for foreign investment. On Tuesday, the Delhi high court refused anticipatory bail to Mr Chidambaram, which led to his arrest last evening.
Sources said Mr Chidambaram is likely to be confronted with files of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which gave the clearance. Mr Chidambaram, who headed the board as the finance minister, had signed off on it.
Congress party came out in support of  Chidambaram on 22 August, claiming the manner in which he was treated as depressing and insulting. They also termed his arrest the as a “murder” of democracy.
Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference, “The vindictive, selective and malicious manner in which former finance Chidambaram has been persecuted and prosecuted is nothing short of a brazen personal and political vendetta. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the law should take its own course, but the treatment meted out to the senior leader was “objectionable”.
Backing the former finance minister, DMK chief M K Stalin termed it a “political vendetta”, He considered it an “insult to India”. I consider it as an insult to India. It is condemnable,” he told reporters in Chennai. While the RJD attacked the BJP, claiming that all will be forgiven if you are with the saffron party.
NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged it was the Modi government’s “model” of “misusing” probe agencies to harass opposition leaders.
The former minister will be lodged in the “Lock-up suite 3” in the guest house floor of the CBI building, where he spent the night after his dramatic arrest on Wednesday. But he was not questioned at all last night. This morning, he was asked 12 questions, but they did not include anything on kickbacks, Kapil Sibal said.




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