INX Media case: P Chidambaram’s CBI custody extended till 5 September even though CBI has no more questions to ask

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A Delhi court on Tuesday extended the CBI custody of P Chidambaram till 5 September even though the central probe agency said that it had no more questions to ask the former finance minister. Chidambaram’s lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi had argued before the Supreme Court to not send their client to Tihar Jail in light of his age.

P Chidambaram

Had Chidambaram’s CBI custody not been extended by the top court, he may have been shifted to the Tihar jail. The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and Bopanna also took the assurance from Chidambaram’s lawyers that they will not press for interim bail till the next hearing on Thursday.

CBI’s lawyer and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the CBI did not want Chidambaram’s custody any longer as the federal probe agency had nothing more to grill the finance minister about adding that law should be allowed ‘to take its own course.’ “We don’t want custody anymore… Let the law take its own course,” Mehta was quoted by Hindustan Times.

Experts say that Mehta was perhaps hinting at sending Chidambaram to judicial custody. The central government’s second top-most lawyer did not appear to be too pleased with the Supreme Court’s order to keep Chidambaram in tCBI custody as he said, “Just because one man doesn’t want to be placed in judicial custody, why should this court pass any order?”

The CBI had on 21 August arrested former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in a dramatic sequence of events after CBI officials jumped the gate of his residence in Jor Bagh in Delhi. Also joining the CBI personnel were officials from the Enforcement Directorate. Since then, he’s been in CBI custody.

Chidambaram is accused of facilitating the huge flow of foreign funds in INX Media when he was the country’s finance minister at the request of his son Karti Chidambaram. Karti is alleged to have received kickbacks in the case. Karti was arrested and sent to Tihar Jail earlier this year.

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