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A Delhi Court Thursday sent senior Congress leader P Chidambaram to CBI custody till August 26 in INX Media case.
Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar asked the agency to conduct medical examination of Chidambaram as per the rules. The court also said that the family members and lawyers of Chidambaram should be allowed to meet him for half an hour every day during his his custody in CBI.
"Considering the facts and circumstances, I am of the view that police custody is justified," the judge said and remanded him to CBI's custody till August 26.
Seeking his 5-day custody, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, arguing for CBI in Court, said that Chidambaram "is non cooperative and he was evasive to questioning". He said Chidambaram's custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth larger conspiracy in the INX Media case.
"INX Media scam is a serious and monumental case of money laundering," CBI told the court.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidamabaram argued that the accused in the INX Media case, Karti Chidambaram, was on bail. He said that Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval was given by six government officials and none of them have been arrested. Sibal argued that the first arrest in the case was of Bhaskar Raman, chartered accountant of Karti, who is presently out on bail.
Besides 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.
Chidambaram asked for the permission from the court to speak. When he was allowed to speak, Chidambaram said that he has not left any question unanswered.
Chidambaram's family members, including his wife Nalini and son Karti, were also in the courtroom along with other senior advocates including Dayan Krishnan.
The CBI on Thursday questioned Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case, officials said. A team of officials, armed with over 100 questions questioned Chidambaram over the course of his custody with the agency.
The team under under Deputy SP R Parthasarthy is leading the probe in the alleged corruption in the clearance of Rs 305 crore foreign investment to to INX Media when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister, the officials said.
On May 15, 2017, the CBI had registered a case regarding alleged irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the INX Media, run by its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea in 2007 when Chidambaram was the finance minister.
Besides Mukerjeas, the CBI has also booked Karti Chidambaram, Chess Management Services and Advantage Strategic Consulting Limited through its director Padma Vishwanathan.
It alleged that the officials by virtue of influence exercised over them by Karti, not only ignored the serious illegality on the part of the INX Media but also deliberately showed undue favours to the INX Group by abusing their official position and advised the company to file for fresh clearance.
The CBI had arrested Chidambaram Wednesday night after high-drama with the agency officials scaling the walls to gain entry in his posh residence in tony neighbourhood of the Jor Bagh area.
The action came after the Delhi High Court removed protection from his arrest and rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
(With Agency Inputs)