A Delhi court Friday dismissed a plea of former finance minister P Chidambaram, who is presently lodged in Tihar jail, seeking to surrender in connection with the INX Media case.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar rejected his plea a day after Chidambaram’s counsel Kapil Sibal moved an application, offering that the Congress leader would surrender before the court.
On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate had informed the court that although Chidambaram’s arrest was necessary, it will do so at the appropriate time. Appearing for the ED, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed Chidambaram’s application. He told Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, “We have summoned six persons in connection with the case. Three of them were interrogated. We need to interrogate all six persons so that we may confront the accused (Chidambaram). He (Chidambaram) is not in a position to tamper with evidence since he is already in judicial custody. Will arrest him at an appropriate time since thereafter only 15 days will be available with ED to interrogate him in custody.”
In response, Sibal informed the court that the Congress leader has the right to surrender and that the ED’s submission is “mala fide and intended to punish him”.
The 73-year-old is currently in judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case being probed by the CBI.
In May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister. The ED later lodged a money laundering case in the matter.