Chidambaram will stay in CBI custody till September 5
Saving P Chidambaram of the embarrassment of being sent to Tihar jail, Asia's largest prison facility, Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that the former Finance Minister will stay in the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) till Thursday, September 5. The Congress stalwart is being investigated by both CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), for his alleged role in corruption in INX Media case.
Taking a look at what happened so far
Chidambaram is accused of facilitating illicit FDI into INX Media when he was in-charge of Finance Ministry in the UPA era. On August 20, Delhi High Court, calling him "kingpin" of the corruption scandal, quashed his pre-arrest bail plea. A day later, CBI arrested him from his residence after scaling the walls of his Jor Bagh residence. He has been in custody since.
Yesterday, Sibal said Chidambaram should be put under house arrest
On Monday, SC heard a plea of Chidambaram challenging a trial court order to send him to police custody. The bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna, extended his CBI custody and agreed to take up the matter on Tuesday. Pleading for Chidambaram in court, his party colleague said he should be protected and sent to house arrest rather than infamous Tihar jail.
Mehta said CBI doesn't want Chidambaram's custody anymore
When the matter came up for hearing today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the representative of agencies, said CBI doesn't want his custody, and that law should take its own course. In other words, he meant Chidambaram should be sent to Tihar. However, Sibal urged the court to maintain the status quo till Thursday and promised Chidambaram won't seek bail from trial court till then.
Chidambaram came extremely close to becoming Tihar's prisoner
Now, ED has been waiting to arrest Chidambaram but hasn't been able to do so because of SC's orders. The apex court will on Thursday give its verdict on Chidambaram's request for pre-arrest bail. Had SC not given relief to Chidambaram, he would have been sent to Tihar following standard procedure. But the court protected him by agreeing to requests of his lawyers.