The special CBI court on Thursday sent former finance minister P Chidambaram to judicial custody till September 19 in connection with the INX media case. Chidambaram has already spent 15 days in CBI custody. He will now be sent to Tihar jail in the national capital. The former minister was arrested by the CBI on August 21 night after the court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to grant the former Union minister pre-arrest bail in the INX Media case. In a partial relief to Chidambaram and his son Karti, a Delhi court, earlier today, granted the father-son duo anticipatory bail in the cases lodged by CBI and ED in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Granting relief, Special Judge O P Saini directed them to join the probe in the cases. “In event of arrest, they can be released on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of like amount. The accused are directed to join the investigation,” the court was quoted.
In connection with the INX Media case, CBI may file a charge sheet soon and will keep the investigation open, PTI quoted sources as saying. Around 11 entities may be charged in the first charge sheet in the case.
According to officials, Chidambaram was asked around 425 questions during 90 hours of interrogation spread over 14 days, PTI quoted sources as saying. The probe also included his face-to-face confrontation with the former additional secretary in the Finance Ministry Sindhushree Khullar and director Prabodh Saxena.
Congress spokesperson and Chidambaram’s counsel Abhishek Singhvi accused the government of “selective opposition persecution” and expressed hope that there are better chances of getting bail after some “hiatus” as continued custody for many days has to be justified. “The bail has very good chance of success as the probe agencies have to justify each day of remand. This is clearly a huge amount of selective opposition prosecution,” he told reporters.
In relation to the Supreme Court dismissing Chidambaram’s bail plea, Singhvi said, “It is a setback”, adding that what has happened in the trial court is a necessary fallout of what has happened in the Supreme Court, but clarified that the police remand turning into the judicial record is routine.
“We did not get the relief we wanted in the Supreme Court, it certainly is a setback,” he noted. Singhvi said the issue today is custodial interrogation required after a certain period of time. “I am confident, we will get bail. Continued detention after so many days has to be justified.”