INX Media case: Delhi court dismisses Chidambaram's plea to surrender
The Enforcement Directorate had told the court on Thursday that the union finance ministerâs arrest was needed in the INX Media money laundering case and it will do so at an appropriate time
A Delhi court has dismissed a plea on Friday filed by former finance minister P Chidambaram, lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case, seeking to surrender in the money laundering case.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar dismissed his plea. The Enforcement Directorate had told the court on Thursday that the union finance minister’s arrest was needed in the INX Media money laundering case and it will do so at an appropriate time, PTI reported.
Chidambaram's counsel had maintained that the ED's submission and intended to make him suffer, calling it mala fide. As the 73-year-old Congress leader is in judicial custody in the INX Media case being probed by the CBI, ED had reportedly told the court that he was not in a position to tamper with the evidence.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of Chidambaram, had said in the court that ED had come to the Congress leader's house to arrest him on August 20 and 21 but now they do not want to do so just to ensure that he remains in judicial custody.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that certain aspects were required to be probed before his custodial interrogation. “The agency requires interrogating six persons before his custodial interrogation and it was investigating money laundering which reaches beyond this country,” he had said.
Mehta had contended that the accused cannot guide the probe and the order to take him in custody right now will curtail the discretion of the CBI.
Prior to August 21, the 'reasons to believe' that he was required to be arrested existed and it exists even today, the solicitor general had said, adding that after arresting Chidambaram they would like to confront him with the evidence which has been gathered.
On September 5, Chidambaram was remanded to 14-day judicial custody in the corruption case by the CBI till September 19, along with issuing a notice to the ED on Chidambaram's plea seeking to surrender in the money laundering case lodged by the agency. Furthermore, the Supreme Court had dismissed his plea against the August 20 order of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail.
The 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 after which, the Enforcement Directorate had lodged a money laundering case.
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