INX Media Case: Karti Chidambaram Sent To Tihar, No Separate Cell For Now
A Delhi court on Monday sent Karti Chidambaram in judicial custody till March 24 while declining his prayer for a separate cell in Tihar Jail or home-cooked meals.
Special judge Sunil Rana remanded Karti, son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in 12-day judicial custody in connection with INX Media case.
On his plea for separate cell, the court said jail manual would be followed.
The court also said his bail plea, of which Karti had requested a hearing today, would be heard on March 15 as listed.
Karti was produced before the court by the CBI after his police remand expired. The probe agency had taken him in three-day remand to confront him with some incriminating documents and a CD recovered from the Chennai office of Advantage Strategic Pvt Ltd, a company linked to Karti.
On Monday, P Chidambaram was also present in the courtroom.
The CBI, which had Karti’s custody since his arrest from Chennai airport on February 28, moved an application for sending him in judicial custody.
Karti’s counsel Dayan Krishnan had urged the court to hear his bail plea, otherwise listed for March 15, on Monday itself.
He also prayed that Karti be provided a separate cell in Tihar owing to threat perception since his father has served as the Union Home Minister and many terrorists have been prosecuted in his tenure.
Krishnan said, “His (Karti) father P Chidambaram has dealt with stringent penal laws, including TADA and MCOCA, posing a huge security threat to Karti,” and stressed on him being provided separate cell and a bathroom.
On CBI opposing this plea, Krishnan said the opposition adds weight to their argument of political motives behind the arrest and that the investigating agency should have been concerned about his safety.
It is to be noted that on March 9, the Delhi High Court had granted Karti interim protection from being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Karti had sought protection from arrest fearing that he will be arrested by the ED as soon as he is out of CBI’s custody.
The CBI alleged Karti used his influence in the Finance Ministry to help INX Media get approval for foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors during P Chidambaram’s tenure as the Finance Minister.
INX Media allegedly received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for Rs 4.62 crore investment but received Rs 305 crore by sale of shares at a premium of Rs 800 per share instead of Rs 10 as mentioned by the company in its application.
The CBI alleged that after the Income Tax department started investigating, INX Media roped in Karti’s company called Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd “to get the issues resolved” by influencing officials of the FIPB.