CBI Gets Chidambaram’s 5-Day Custody in INX Media Case: Key Points
Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar asked the CBI to conduct medical examination of Chidambaram as per the rules.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, who was arrested on Wednesday, 21 August, after a day-long drama and spent a quiet night at the agency guest house, was produced in a special CBI court in Delhi on Thursday which "justified" the agency’s demand for his custodial interrogation.
Here is a breakdown of sequence of events from today:
- Stating that Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation was justified as the allegations against him are "serious in nature" and an "in depth investigation is required", the court ordered that he be sent to five-day CBI custody till 26 August in the INX Media corruption case. "Considering the facts and circumstances, I am of the view that police custody is justified," Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, who heard the arguments of CBI and Chidambaram's counsel for over one-and-a-half hour, said.
- The court made it clear that "the investigating agency will ensure that the personal dignity of the accused is not violated in any manner".
- The court observed that allegations of payment to Chidambaram in 2007-08 and 2008-09 are specific and categorical, and said that trail of money, if so paid, is to be ascertained.
- It is a case based on documentary evidence and those documents need to be traced. “The investigation needs to be brought to a logical end for which custodial interrogation is sometimes found useful and fruitful. The apprehension of accused of any coercive action can be addressed by the court to safeguard his right as a citizen of the country," the court said.
- Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed Chidambaram to make a brief submission in which he stated that on 6 June 2018, he had answered the questions and there is nothing new they are asking now. "I have already given details of all my bank accounts (to CBI)," Chidambaram told the judge.
- Special Judge Kuhar asked the CBI to conduct medical examination of Chidambaram as per the rules.
- The court also allowed the family members and lawyers of Chidambaram to meet him for 30 minutes every day, for as long as he will be in the agency’s custody.
- Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict dismissing his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case would be heard on Friday by the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R Banumathi. Chidambaram, who was arrested by the CBI on Wednesday in the case, had approached the top court against the high court's 20 August verdict.
- Opposition leaders, including those from the Congress, came out in support of Chidambaram on Thursday, claiming the manner in which he was treated was depressing and insulting, and termed his arrest the "murder" of democracy. The Congress lashed out at the government and accused it of using the CBI and the ED as its personal "revenge-seeking departments".
- Meanwhile, the BJP on Thursday dubbed the INX media case, in which the CBI has arrested Chidambaram, a "scam" of massive corruption, and heaped scorn on the Congress for defending him, saying the party's support for graft was on display. “Law is now catching up with the Congress”, senior BJP leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar reportedly said, adding that its rule during 2004-14 was synonymous with corruption.
(With inputs from PTI)
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