INX Media Case: P Chidambaram's Judicial Custody Extended Till October 3

INX Media Case: P ChidambaramP Chidambaram when arrested by CBI (The Hindu image)

Special CBI Judge Ajay Lumar Kuhar on Thursday extended P Chidambaram's judicial custody in INX Media case till October 3.

Mr Chidambaram has already spent 14 days in judicial custody.

Chidambaram's counsels Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi had argued that extending judicial custody is not a mechanical exercise and the judge granting remand has to give reasons for the same. 'Just because there's a hearing coming up in High Court, it can't become a ground for extension'.

It was also pointed out that Chidambaram is suffering from a series of ailments including hypertension, coronary and artery diseases, impaired glycemia, irritable bowel disease, prostatomegaly, Crohn's disease and Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, a demand for his medical examination by a government hospital was made.

'He has not even been provided with a chair or a pillow in his cell. It's because of this that he has developed a back problem', Mr Sibal pointed out.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta countered the demand for medical examination by an external hospital by submitting that all other prisoners are first examined by jail doctors. Only on the recommendation of the jail doctor, the leave for getting a treatment from an external hospital is given.

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.

The allegation is that as Union Finance Minister in 2007, Chidambaram took kickbacks for Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of INX media, and the money was routed through the companies linked with his son Karti Chidambaram.

The Enforcement Directorate has registered a separate case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act in respect of the money laundering allegations. The CBI case is with respect to corruption allegations.