Chidambaram's CBI custody extended again, this time till September 2
A special court on Friday extended the CBI custody of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram till September 2, Monday. This is the third time that the custody of Chidambaram, being probed for corruption in the INX Media case, was extended. Interestingly, on Thursday, he made an unprecedented offer in Supreme Court saying he wants to remain in CBI custody till the aforementioned date.
Chidambaram's lawyers and Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi said since SC agreed to hear the plea "challenging" the remand orders on September 2, the suggestion was made. The offer, however, was opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the agencies.
Notably, Chidambaram is being probed by both CBI and ED for allegedly facilitating FDI into INX Media, a media organization founded by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. His son Karti allegedly received kickbacks for helping the Mukerjeas get foreign funds. It was the statement of Indrani, who is in prison for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, which helped agencies nail the Chidamabarams.
While Chidambaram is being grilled by CBI, the Supreme Court is hearing a plea filed by him seeking protection from arrest by ED. On Thursday, the top court extended his protection till September 5, and agreed to hear another petition challenging the August 20 order of Delhi High Court. Chidambaram was arrested dramatically from his residence after HC denied him anticipatory bail.
Evidently, Chidambaram's arrest by CBI has led to a war of words between Congress and BJP. The grand old party attacked the ruling one calling the series of events a case of "political revenge". In fact, Karti, who is an MP from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga, claimed his father was arrested since he has been one of the loudest critics of the current regime.
After his pre-arrest bail was denied, Chidambaram went "missing" only to make an appearance at Congress HQ where he addressed the press. He said he was anguished to learn he has been accused of evading the law, when all he has been trying to do is seek a legal remedy. The senior Congress leader also said he hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing.
"Let's hope the lamp of liberty will shine bright and illuminate the whole country. I will respect the law even if applied with an unequal hand by probe agencies," he had said, minutes before his arrest.