A Delhi court on Monday extended former Union minister P Chidambaram’s CBI custody by a day in the INX Media case. This came after the agency opposed any relief to the former finance minister who was arrested on the night of August 21.
The Congress leader was produced in the court today after the expiry of his three-day CBI custody which was granted on August 30. The court will now hear his plea for interim bail on Tuesday.
Chidambaram was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar where his counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal moved an interim bail application.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to reply to the bail plea and said that the notice be issued to the CBI as it is statutorily required. “All citizens have to be treated equally,” Mehta said, adding that personal liberty of every citizen is equal.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had also extended the Congress leader’s CBI custody by a day and slated the next hearing for Tuesday.
After the judge in the Delhi court was informed about the apex court’s hearing, he asked if there was any direction to seek the relief and it being decided today itself.
During the hearing, Mehta asked what was so special and extraordinary in this case. Responding to this, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, said the Solicitor General would not have been here if it would have been a normal case.
Mehta said it would be a serious travesty of justice if the CBI is not given time to reply to the bail plea.
The special court on August 30 had extended Chidambaram’s CBI custody till today.
Chidambaram, 73, has been already subjected to custodial interrogation by the CBI for 11 days since his arrest on August 21, after the Delhi High Court on August 20 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea. His son Karti was also present in the court.
Chidambaram, who was Union home minister as also finance minister during the UPA rule from 2004 to 2014, was arrested by the CBI on August 21 from his Jor Bagh residence. He was earlier produced before the court on August 22 and was remanded to four-day CBI custody.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the 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.
(With PTI inputs)