Delhi: CBI on Thursday produced Congress leader P Chidambaram, arrested in the
INX Media case, before a Delhi court and sought his 5-day custodial interrogation
saying there is a need to unearth a larger conspiracy.
was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar where Chidambaram’s
advocates opposed the CBI plea on the ground that all the other accused,
including his son Karti, have already been granted bail in the case.
advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, argued that the first arrest
in the case was of Bhaskar Raman, chartered accountant of Karti, who is
presently out on bail.
that, Peter and Indrani Mukherjea, also accused in the case, are out on default
bail as they are in jail in connection with another matter, Sibal said.
contended that grant of bail was a rule and the issue before the court was of
was countering the 5-day custodial interrogation of Chidambaram sought by CBI
which said it needs to unearth the larger conspiracy.
General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, told the court that the agency
was not extorting confession but it has the right to reach the root of the case.
Sibal, senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi also appeared for Chidambaram and
opposed CBI’s plea by saying that the former Union Minister was not a flight
said that the entire CBI case was based on the statement of Indrani Mukherjea,
who has turned approver in the case.
said Chidambaram cannot answer what CBI wants to hear and added that the agency
cannot seek remand on the ground of evasive replies.
also argued that there was no allegation of tampering of evidence by CBI.
further contended that police remand can only be granted in special
circumstances and this was a case where there was no new development.
said the agency was asking Chidambaram only old questions since his arrest on
countered the arguments made on behalf of Chidambaram, saying that everybody
was equal before the court.
said certain facts about the case cannot be narrated in an open court and also
opposed the plea that Chidambaram be allowed to argue for himself, saying he has
able lawyers representing him.
during his initial arguments, said that Chidambaram entered into a criminal
conspiracy with others in the scam.
was arrested last night after issuance of non bailable warrant against him.
is not cooperating in the investigation,” Mehta said, adding that he has
been evasive in replies and grave offence was committed.
said it is a serious and monumental case of money laundering.
also said Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth the
“quid pro quo and larger conspiracy” and he is required to be
confronted with documents.
CBI’s arguments, Sibal contended that what the agency has said should not be
taken as “gospel truth”.
said that Chidambaram was asked 12 questions and he had already answered six of
don’t know what to ask and they don’t have questions ready with them, Sibal
told the court, adding that after his arrest on Wednesday night, Chidambaram
was interrogated only on Thursday morning at 11 am.
the arguments, Chidambaram said he has not slept for last 24 hours.
further argued that CBI could have written a letter to Chidambaram for
producing the documents alleged to be in his possession and the agency cannot
say he was evasive during the investigation.
also contended that what has been stated in the CBI case diary was not the
truth and cannot be considered as evidence.
during his arguments, placed the Delhi High Court’s judgement dismissing
Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea and also referred to the observations made
said charge sheet has not been filed in the case yet and the case is at
pre-charge sheet stage, therefore, “we need material which Chidambaram is
investigation is possible only in custodial interrogation,” he argued.
contended that serious, active and informed role of the accused is made out and
money trail is made out and has to be probed.
custodial interrogation required to get answer of certain questions for
effective probe, he said.
after entering the courtroom, 73-year-old Chidambaram was seen having
discussion with his party leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Abhishek
Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha.
family members, including his wife Nalini and son Karti, are also in the
courtroom along with other senior advocates including Dayan Krishnan.
security arrangement has been done outside the courtroom.
was arrested late Wednesday night from his Jor Bagh residence.
CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the
Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media
group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s
tenure as the finance minister.
Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018. (PTI)
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