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Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

CBI court sends Former FM Chidambaram to Tihar jail till 19 September

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20190905101L_1567685673997_1567685689186NEW DELHI :  The CBI special court on Thursday sent former union minister P. Chidambaram to judicial custody till 19 September in the money-laundering and corruption case related to the INX Media scam. He was produced in the court today after 14 days of CBI custody.
Mr Chidambaram, 74, will be in “Jail No 7” of Asia’s biggest prison complex till September 19. That means Mr Chidambaram will have to spend his 75th birthday – on September 16 – in jail.
The CBI had moved an application for judicial custody of P Chidambaram. Senior advocate Kapill Sibal opposed the demand for judicial custody. He said there was no scope of tampering with the evidence. He even said he was willing to surrender and stay in the ED custody.
Soon after the court ruling, the senior Congress leader’s lawyer and party colleague Kapil Sibal requested a separate cell for him, a cot, a toilet with western facilities and medicines, which were granted as he has Z-security. “I am only worried about the economy,” said the former Finance Minister, as he was led out after the hearing.

Director-general, prisons, Sandeep Goel, said, “He (Chidambaram) will be lodged in Jail number 7. Facilities will be given as per the court order.” Jail 7 is meant for economic offenders. Another senior Delhi police official said Chidambaram will be treated like any other inmate in Tihar.
Earlier in the day, Supreme Court refused pre-arrest bail to P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate. The top court dismissed Chidambaram’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him anticipatory bail in the case.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said this is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail. Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper investigation, it said.

The apex court agreed with the ED’s plea that Chidambaram should be sent for custodial interrogation. Chidambaram had filed a petition against the Delhi High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail on 20 August.
The bench also upheld that the case diary of the CBI and the ED should be perused by the court. This was allowed since the case related to economic offences and the gravity of the offence pushed the court to approach it differently.
The CBI, on 15 May 2017, registered an FIR against Chidambaram for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance provided to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the finance minister. The money-laundering cases lodged by the ED in this regard dates back to 2018. Chidambaram was arrested on 21 August.
In the CBI’s custody since his arrest on August 21, Mr Chidambaram had been put up in a “guest-room” on the ground floor of the agency’s multi-storey building.
Mr Chidambaram and his son were named by INX Media co-founders Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently jailed in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora. Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role in securing the foreign funds, was arrested in 2018 and released after 23 days.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court, while refusing to grant Mr Chidambaram protection from arrest by ED, said: “Anticipatory bail has to be exercised sparingly in cases of economic offences. Considering the facts and circumstances, this is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail.” (With Agency Inputs ).

 

 

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