A Delhi court has dismissed the surrender application of former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in the INX Media case.
The court maintained that if the investigating officer was not willing to arrest the applicant at this stage, his application to surrender cannot be entertained.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sent Chidambaram to 14 days’ judicial custody in the INX Media case after it observed that “allegations against the accused were found serious” and the “CBI has apprehension that because of his status and position, the investigation may be hampered by the accused”.
Chidambaram’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, moved an application, offering to surrender before the court in the ED case.
Dismissing the application, Special Judge Kuhar said, “However, in the present case, the applicant has not been arrested nor this court has taken cognizance of any offence or any complaint or chargesheet. Therefore, the applicant cannot be remanded to custody under section 167 Cr PC or under section 309 (2) Cr PC. Further, the applicant had only moved an application to surrender, he was not taken into custody in this case. There is not even a notional surrender because the court has not taken applicant into custody in this case though he happens to be in custody in other case.”
The ED had on Thursday told the court that the arrest of Chidambaram in the INX Media case was necessary and it will do so at the appropriate time.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the ED, opposed Chidambaram’s application for surrender. The ED had told the court that Chidambaram was not in a position to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses as he was in judicial custody.
Sibal had submitted that Chidambaram had the right to surrender and claimed that the ED wanted to extend Chidambaram’s custody to make him suffer.