Chidambaram sent to ED custody till Oct. 30
New Delhi, Oct. 24 (PTI): A Delhi court Thursday sent former finance minister P Chidambaram to custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate till October 30 in the INX Media money laundering case.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed the ED to quiz Chidambaram and said that he be taken to AIIMS immediately in case of any medical complication.
The court said that the other conditions of his custody will be the same, including providing him home-cooked food.
The probe agency had sought 7-day custodial interrogation of the 74-year old senior Congress leader.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the former minister is very ill and sought 2-day interim bail for treatment in Hyderabad.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, opposed the plea and said it would be a serious miscarriage of justice if the agency’s investigation is curtailed.
Mehta told the court that documentary evidence has come to light which shows Chidambaram’s connection to money laundering.
The law officer said Chidambaram’s pace decreased while answering certain questions during interrogation and more time is needed to quiz him.
Mehta told the court that glaring discrepancies between statements of witnesses, co-conspirators and Chidambaram and therefore he needs to be confronted with witnesses and other evidence.
Sibal however said there is no basis for further remand and the agency could have easily confronted Chidambaram with the witnesses all these days.
The court asked the Solicitor General as to why Chidambaram was not confronted with any witness so far, to which Mehta said the ED wanted to record his statement and there was a time limit.
The court said that at this pace even 50 days will be less, but Mehta responded that the agency’s pace of investigation was excellent.
Sibal told the court that Chidambaram was ill and in acute pain, to which Mehta said he has been examined medically whenever required.
Sibal said Chidambaram needs to be treated by his own doctor in Hyderabad.
“Let him go and see his doctor and he will cooperate in the investigation after he comes back,” said Sibal.