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The Special CBI Court at Rouse Avenue Court Complex today sent P Chidambaram to judicial custody till September 19 in the INX Media case.
“14. The allegations against the accused were found to serious therefore, he was remanded to police custody. The investigation of the case is still in progress. The CBI has apprehension that because of his status and position, the investigation may be hampered by the accused…
15. Now having regard to all the facts and circumstances of the case, the nature of the offences, the stage of the investigation, the accused is remanded to judicial custody.
16. Accordingly, the accused is remanded to judicial custody upto 19.09.2019. Custody warrants be prepared”, the order reads.
Chidambaram will be lodged in Tihar Jail until then. Shortly after the order was passed, Chidambaram filed an application for medicines and a western toilet in jail along with Z security and separate cell with a cot and a bathroom. The same was allowed by the court.
He also filed a surrender application in the case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). This application will be taken up for hearing on September 12.
The maximum time period for police custody of the former Union Minister lapsed today. In this light, an application for P Chidambaram’s judicial custody was moved by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today before the Special Court of Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar.
Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Dayan Krishnan appeared for Chidambaram. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the CBI.
Mehta argued that given the facts of the case and the ongoing investigation, sending P Chidambaram to judicial custody was a “necessary consequence”.
He apprehend that if released, Chidambaram would tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses.
On the other hand, Sibal sought his release. He argued that an order of remand, especially judicial remand, could not be passed by a court in a mechanical and automatic manner.
“There is no such principle in law that once police custody is over, judicial custody is the necessary consequence. Court has to apply its mind to the facts at every stage”, Sibal said.
Sibal argued that the reasons given in the application for judicial custody filed by the CBI were non-existent.
He further added that there was no prima facie evidence to support the allegations against him or the claims of possible tampering of evidence.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in connection with the INX Media case on August 21, a day after the Delhi High Court denied his anticipatory bail plea. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought his arrest in the case.
He was thereafter sent to custody on August 22 in the case filed by the CBI. On August 26, the Supreme Court rejected the SLP challenging the order of the Delhi High Court denying him protection from arrest by the CBI, upon noting that the plea had become infructuous. However, the Bench granted him interim protection from arrest by the ED.
The same day, the Special CBI Court at Rouse Avenue Court Complex extended the CBI’s custody of P Chidambaram till August 30.
The custody was finally extended till September 5.
P Chidambaram today withdrew his Special Leave Petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the order passed by the Special CBI Judge remanding him to CBI Custody.
In the case filed by the ED, the Supreme Court today rejected Chidambaram’s plea seeking anticipatory bail.
Read the Order: