Hours after the Supreme Court ordered that former Union minister P Chidambaram will remain in CBI custody until September 5 despite the agency stating that it did not want his custody any more, a Delhi court on Tuesday remanded the Congress leader in CBI custody until that date.
“A person says he doesn’t want to go to judicial custody…. I don’t want custody,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI in the INX Media case, told a bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna, urging it to leave the decision on it to the trial court.
Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar subsequently ordered that “in view of the Supreme Court’s order”, the accused will remain in CBI custody until September 5.
Senior counsel Dayan Krishnan and advocate Arshdeep Singh, appearing for Chidambaram, apprised Judge Kuhar that they will not press for interim bail application, and urged that it be taken up on September 5. Agreeing to this, the court listed Chidambaram’s interim bail application for hearing for Thursday.
Mehta told the Bench on Tuesday that Chidambaram had not filed the bail plea at the time his matter was being argued in SC on Monday. Subsequent to the SC order, his lawyers filed an interim bail plea and urged the trial court to consider it, saying that the top court had directed it to do so, he said.
Seeking recall of Monday’s order, Mehta contended, “I don’t think it’s proper to say how the trial court should decide the matter. Let the law be allowed to take its course.” Justice Banumathi observed, “We are conscious that we should not usurp the jurisdiction of the trial court.”
Meanwhile, in a counter-affidavit filed in Supreme Court, the CBI questioned maintainability of Chidambaram’s plea challenging his remand. The affidavit referred to an SC Constitution Bench decision which said that “normally the High Court is final arbiter in bail/anticipatory bail matters”.
Seeking its dismissal, the agency said the petitioner “has not pointed out any extraordinary circumstances which would have justified any deviation from the consistent practice being followed”.
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