In a relief to Congress leader P Chidambaram, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to him in the CBI’s INX Media case till August 1. Justice A K Pathak asked Chidambaram to join and cooperate in the questioning session as and when called by the CBI. The court listed the matter for further hearing on August 1.
The interim order was extended after Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, informed the court that they have prepared their counter affidavit and will be filing the same during the course of the day. Mehta also said that the affidavit points to why the senior Congress leader’s custodial interrogation was required in the matter. He, however, was not opposed to the extension of the interim order granted to Chidambaram on May 31.
On May 31, the former finance minister had moved court seeking interim protection fearing arrest in alleged INX Media corruption case. He was granted protection till July 3.
Chidambaram is also under investigation in another case – the alleged corruption in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The former Union minister had in his petition on May 31, said that the CBI had suddenly and in a “mala fide” manner issued notice on May 28, directing him to appear before it despite the fact that he had neither been named in the FIR as an accused or a suspect. He had claimed that the proceedings were “mala fide” and “borne out of political vendetta”.
The case pertains to alleged financial irregularities in clearances granted when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister. His son Karti Chidambaram is also an accused in the case and was arrested by the CBI on February 28. He was granted bail by the Delhi High court on March 23.
Probe agencies have questioned Chidambaram multiple times. On June 7, he had been questioned by the CBI for almost four hours on the matter, relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for FDI of Rs 305 crore while he was the finance minister.
On June 12, he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for almost six hours at his residence. “Another round of questions by ED in Aircel-Maxis case. I remind myself that there is no FIR and no offence is alleged,” Chidambaram had tweeted then.