A Delhi court dismissed a plea by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram to surrender in connection with the INX Media case on Friday. The Congress leader is currently lodged in Tihar jail. The Enforcement Directorate told the court on Thursday that the former FM’s arrest was necessary in the INX Media corruption case and that it will do so at an appropriate time.
The former Finance Minister’s counsel had contended that the ED intended to make Chidambaram suffer. ED had told the court that since Chidambaram was already in the judicial custody in the CBI case, he was not in a position to tamper with the evidence.
Appearing for Chidambaram, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the ED had come to the Congress leader’s house to arrest him on August 20 and 21 but does not want to arrest him now just to ensure that he remains in judicial custody.
Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED said that prior to August 21, they had ‘reasons to believe’ that he was required to be arrested and it exists even today. He also said that that after arresting Chidambaram they would like to confront him with the evidence which has been gathered.
Mehta had argued that certain aspects were required to be probed before his custodial interrogation. He added that the agency needs to interrogate six people before his custodial interrogation and it was also investigating money laundering that reaches beyond the country. He had contended that the accused cannot guide the probe and the order to take him in custody right now will curtail the discretion of probe agency.
On September 5, Chidambaram was remanded to 14-day judicial custody in the corruption case by the CBI till September 19. On the same day, the court had issued notice to the ED on Chidambaram’s plea seeking to surrender in the money laundering case lodged by the agency in which the Supreme Court had dismissed his plea against the August 20 order of the Delhi High Court denying him pre-arrest bail.
(With PTI inputs)