Breaking : Special Court Dismisses Chidambaram's Plea To Surrender Before ED In INX Media Case [Read Order]
The Court of Special Judge, CBI, Rouse Avenue, Delhi on Friday dismissed former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's plea for surrendering before Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case.
Taking note of the stand of the ED that the custody of Chidambaram is required only after "completing investigation into some aspect of money laundering", Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar held that a probe agency cannot be compelled to take an accused into custody.
"When the investigating officer is not willing to arrest the applicant at this stage his application to surrender in the court cannot be entertained", stated the order.
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.
With the Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar dismissing the surrender application, Chidambaram will continue to be in Tihar jail till September 19.
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.
The surrender application was heard in detail yesterday.
Opposing the surrender application, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said on Thursday 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, had 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.