Chidambaram's custody extended to October-17, but may get home-cooked meals
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who was arrested by CBI in a dramatic fashion from his New Delhi residence on August 21, will remain in Tihar jail till October 17, a special court said on Thursday. However, in what serves as a "silver lining" for him, CBI said it has no problem if he gets home-cooked meals. The request will be considered by the court.
Chidambaram is facing an investigation for his alleged involvement in corruption in the INX Media case. CBI and ED claim that as the country's FM in the UPA era he facilitated the influx of illicit FDI into the media organization, for which his son Karti received kickbacks. Meanwhile, defending him, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had claimed he didn't take decisions alone.
After he was arrested several weeks ago, Chidambaram didn't get any respite. On Monday, Delhi High Court rejected his bail plea saying he might influence witnesses and this risk can't be taken at this stage of probe. The court, however, said there are few chances that he might "flee or tamper evidence". But, the special court again refused to give him any relief.
Interestingly, CBI, which has been going all out against the Congress veteran, took his side in court. When his counsels said the 74-year-old should be examined medically twice daily, CBI said it has no issues. CBI said the same about home-cooked food.
Separately, Chidambaram's lawyer and party colleague Kapil Sibal moved the Supreme Court seeking his bail. He mentioned the matter for urgent listing in front of a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana. But the bench, also including Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari, said the plea will be sent to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who will decide on its listing.
To note, Chidambaram's health was mentioned in the bail plea. The top court was apprised that he is not "used" to jail's food and has lost nearly 4 kgs. Reminding that he has been in custody for 42 days, the bail plea added, "His continuing incarceration is in the form of punishment as his custody can neither be taken nor is required for the purpose of investigation."