On September 5, Legal Team of former finance minister P Chidambaram appealed to Delhi Court to send him in the custody of Enforcement Directorate instead of sending him to Tihar Jail as per Judicial custody.
Kapil Sibal who has been fighting the case in the court for Chidambaram, “told the court that the CBI did not have any reason to remand him in judicial custody except to humiliate the senior Congress leader who has been the ‘country’s finance and home minister.”
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and has completed 15 days in its custody. And now he has been sent to Tihar Jail till September 19.
Sibal told Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar there was no principle in law that once an ‘accused’s police custody is over, he would have to be sent to judicial custody as a “necessary consequence.”
“There is no scope of tampering with evidence. In fact, I am willing to go to ED custody. I am willing to surrender,” he told the court. This ‘isn’t the first time that Chidambaram had submitted himself to questioning by investigators to avoid going to Tihar jail. Of the 15 days that he spent in CBI custody, three were at his request to avoid an overnight stay in the ‘country’s largest and the most populated prison complex.
The CBI, which had made it clear that it had completed questioning the 73-year-old politician in this case, has now rejected ‘Chidambaram’s request. It spoke about cares of manipulation of evidence if Chidambaram ‘isn’t sent to judicial custody.
The ‘government’s second most senior law officer Tushar Mehta also cited the Supreme Court’s decision for rejecting pre-arrest bail to Chidambaram earlier in the day, emphasizing that the two-judge bench had considered the possibility of evidence tampering. For impact, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also told the judge that he was dealing with a case where two superior courts had already refused relief to Chidambaram.
However, P Chidambaram and his son Karti have been granted anticipatory bail in a second case investigated by the CBI and ED relating to foreign investment approvals linked with telecom company Aircel.
The INX Media case relates to asserted irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media group for receiving foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was finance minister. The CBI registered a first information report on May 15, 2017, claiming irregularities in the manner the clearance had been given.