Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram will go back to Tihar Jail in Delhi till November 13, a Delhi Court has ordered on Wednesday, moved him to judicial custody in the INX Media Case.
Mr. Chidambaram had been shifted out of Tihar Jail when he was moved to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate earlier this month.
He was offered a separate cell in Tihar Jail, featured with a western toilet, medicines, and home-cooked food, said the judge.
P Chidambaram’s custody taken by the probe agency ended on October 30. His request for interim bail will be taken up by the Delhi High Court on Thursday. On Monday, the senior Congress leader was admitted to Delhi’s AIIMS and has requested bail to fly to Hyderabad for better medical aid of stomach pain.
P Chidambaram’s main bail request will be heard on November 4.
The court has declined the probe agency’s request for one-day custody. His advocate Kapil Sibal has argued that the probe agency wasn’t confronting any witnesses, as it had claimed before the court while seeking longer custody. Advocate Sibal continued, “Every day it’s the same story. ED kept telling the court that we have to confront witnesses but not a single day was there any confrontation,” he further produced a file on the former Union Finance Minister’s medical condition.
On August 21, P Chidambaram was detained by the CBI, accused of a role in irregularities in FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearance to the INX Media Group for the blend of overseas funds amounted to Rs. 305 crore in 2007, when he was the Finance Minister of India.
On October 16, the ED has detained him from Tihar Jail. The Enforcement Directorate is investigating the money-laundering scam.
Last week, the top court has granted bail to Mr. Chidambaram, says that there is no possibility of him absconding and “no whisper” of any proof that he tried to influence even one witness.
The top court has declined the argument of the CBI that P Chidambaram is a flight risk and said it failed to provide any proof on how witnesses were influenced – “SMS, e-mail, letter or telephonic calls and the persons who have approached the material witnesses.”
It continued, P Chidambaram “can be released if he is not required in any other case,” adding that he will have to pay a bond of Rs. 1 lakh.
In his first stint, the former Finance Minister has spent over a month in Tihar Jail, which the largest prison facility in Aisa.
P Chidambaram’s son Kartik Chidambaram and thirteen others including senior bureaucrats and private companies have been alleged in a CBI charge-sheet of causing loss to the government. The charge-sheet reports that the Chidambaram’s has received Rs. 9.96 lakh as bribes.