CBI Court Reserves Orders On Chidambaram's Plea To Surrender Before ED In INX Media Case

CBI Court Reserves Orders On Chidambaram

The Court of Special Judge, CBI, Rouse Avenue, Delhi on Thursday reserved orders on former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's plea for surrendering before Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case.

The orders will be pronounced tomorrow at 2 PM.

Chidambaram, who is now lodged in Tihar jail after the CBI Court remanded him to judicial custody on September 5, had filed application for surrendering in the ED case that day itself.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had dismissed his application for pre-arrest bail in the ED case on September 5. The case by CBI is with respect to corruption allegations regarding FIPB clearance for INX Media's FDI in 2007; whereas the ED case is dealing with money laundering allegations regarding the proceeds of the alleged crime.

Opposing the surrender application, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that as Chidambaram is in judicial custody in CBI case now, ED did not wish to have his custodial interrogation at present. The accused cannot demand that the probe agency should conduct the probe in a particular manner, said the Solicitor General, citing SC precedents.

"We will press for arrest when 15 days custody can be optimally utilized", he said.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said that the agency is acting with the mala fide intention of keeping him in jail for 15 days at any cost. Before the Supreme Court, the ED had sought custodial interrogation of Chidambaram, and this was even recorded by the SC in the order rejecting anticipatory bail.

Accused has every right to surrender, Sibal said.

"They only want to prolong my incarceration", the senior counsel submitted.

The SG rebutted saying that if accused is allowed to choose his custody, it will lead to serious repurcussions.

Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI form his Jor Bagh residence on August 21, and has been under custody ever since - CBI custody till September 5 and judicial custody thereafter.