INX Media case: ED to get custody of P Chidambaram
15 October 2019
The Enforcement Directorate will take P Chidambaram into custody tomorrow for questioning in connection with the INX Media case, after a special court in Delhi agreed to the agency's request for the custodial interrogation of the 74-year-old former union minister who has been in Tihar jail since 5 September.
The ED had moved two applications yesterday seeking permission to formally arrest him over alleged money laundering in the case.
The agency has two options – to question Chidambaram at the Rouse Avenue court premises for half an hour and then move application for custody or to send him to Tihar jail and arresting him from there.
However, the judge decided against questioning him at the court premises and then arresting him, saying "dignity of the person should be considered".
The agency then opted to arrest him from Tihar jail in the morning and produce in court around 4 PM when the agency applies for his custody.
During an earlier hearing in a case filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court, where he sought bail, Chidambaram had claimed the agency was keeping him in jail to "humiliate" him.
"Their game plan is to keep him in jail for 60 days... He wanted to surrender to ED while in CBI custody," Kapil Sibal, Chidambaram's legal counsel and party colleague, said.
While Chidambaram, who was arrested by the CBI on 21 in the INX Media corruption case, has been in judicial custody since 5 September, the Enforcement Directorate wants to question him on a related case that allegedly involves money-laundering.
Chidambaram is accused of permitting infusion of huge amounts of foreign capital into the firm as the finance minister in the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh in 2007 at the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram, who is accused to have received the kickbacks.
The agency suspects that the funds are stashed abroad. Karti Chidambaram has been questioned and he is not allowed to leave the country without the court's permission.