Chidambaram will remain in Tihar as Delhi court junks plea
Refusing to give him relief of any kind, a Delhi court on Friday said that former Finance Minister P Chidambaram will stay in Tihar jail till September 19, as ordered last week. He had moved the court seeking bail and requested to be allowed to surrender before Enforcement Directorate (ED). But the court junked the plea, serving a setback to the Congress veteran.
Backstory: After CBI custody, Chidambaram went to Tihar
As is well known by now, Chidambaram is being probed for his involvement in the alleged corruption in INX Media case. On August 21, after "scaling walls" of his Delhi residence, Chidambaram was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). His custody was extended numerous times, and on September 5, he received a major disappointment when he was sent to Tihar till September 19.
ED said it didn't want Chidambaram's custody as of now
Both CBI and ED are probing Chidambaram in this case. The latter agency told special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on Thursday, that it didn't want Chidambaram's custody for now while promising to approach court when the time is right. ED, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, asked the court to dismiss Chidambaram's plea saying an accused can't dictate as and when he should be arrested.
Let us first interrogate six people, ED told court
Further, ED said it was grilling six people in connection to the case. "The ED will be able to utilize 15 days of remand to its optimum if custodial interrogation of the accused (Chidambaram) takes place after these six individuals are interrogated," Mehta said.
Unsurprisingly, Sibal had a problem with ED's claims
ED's arguments were staunchly opposed by Kapil Sibal, senior lawyer, and Congress leader. He asked why did the agency change its mind about Chidambaram's arrest when it wanted to do so on August 20-21. "The six persons were there all along. When did they appear suddenly? This is with intent to punish me and make me suffer," Sibal said on his party colleague's behalf.
Take me on remand, pleaded Chidambaram
In fact, Sibal said ED hadn't looked at Chidambaram's plea properly. "I'm only saying interrogate me. Take me on remand. I want the investigation to be over," Sibal said. Dismissing Sibal's demands, Mehta said it's not like the ED doesn't want to arrest Chidambaram. The need for arrest was there in August, and that is what ED wants even now, he underscored.