The special CBI Court has sent former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram to CBI custody till August 26.
Chidambaram was produced before the special CBI court at Delhi’s Rouse Avenue after three hours of questioning by the officials at the probe agency headquarters.
Chidambaram was arrested on Wednesday night by CBI officials as a dramatic sequence of events unfolded outside his residence in Jor Bagh, New Delhi.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, counsel for the CBI, had said that Chidambaram was in conspiracy with others in the INX Media scam. The probe agency further argued that the former finance and home minister had not been cooperating in the investigation.
Seeking custodial interrogation of the former minister, the Solicitor General argued before the court that P Chidambaram had to be confronted with documents and the other accused in the case. “Custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram necessary to unearth quid pro quo and larger conspiracy,” the probe agency told the special CBI court, adding, “Grave offence was committed, custodial interrogation required to get answers of certain questions for effective probe.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta further said that a charge sheet is yet to be filed in the case as the probe agency needs material which Chidambaram is holding. A money trail in the scam has been made out and has to be probed, said the investigating agency. The CBI contended that the INX Media scam is a “serious and monumental case of money laundering”.
Kapil Sibal, the counsel for Chidambaram, opposed the five-day custodial interrogation sought by CBI saying, “What CBI says is not the gospel truth.”
Sibal further argued that the First Information Report has been filed around 10 years after the alleged offence adding that Chidambaram had never skipped any interrogation.
Kapil Sibal further said that the former union minister was last questioned a year ago and there has been no summon after that. “Now the CBI says they want to question him more and are seeking custodial interrogation,” he said.
P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who owned INX Media at the time and are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora.