The High Court today while hearing the regular bail plea filed by former finance minister P Chidambaram, said he will be served the “same food as everyone”. The senior Congress leader is currently in Tihar jail in connection with the INX Media case serving his jail term.
Senior advocate and Chidambaram’s counsel Kapil Sibal requested the court that home-cooked food be allowed to his client in jail, to which Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said, “Same food is available for everyone.”
Mr. Sibal replying to the court’s remark, said that “My Lords, he is 74 years old.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta then responded, “Even (INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala) Chautala is old and is a political prisoner. As a state, we can’t distinguish anyone.”
The court was hearing the regular bail application filed by P Chidambaram in the CBI case pertaining to INX media when the argument occurred. During the course of hearing, P Chidambaram’s counsel Kapil Sibal argued that the offenses against his client have only seven years of imprisonment.
He also claimed that the charges of section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can’t even be made out as he has no role. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta denied the claims, saying, “We are at the pre-charge sheet stage. Petitioner was arrested on August 21, the offenses were committed in 2007. P Chidambaram was involved in corrupt practices.”
The court question over the delay that “he was sent to judicial custody on September 5 then why didn’t you approach then?”
Mr. Sibal responded, “There were holidays in between.”
“When you can approach the Supreme Court, the same day, then why are you coming so late?” the judge added.
The court hearing the arguments posted the matter for hearing on September 23. It also issued a notice to CBI seeking its response on the plea. Chidambaram’s lawyer withdrew the appeal challenging the order of judicial remand passed by the trial court. Mr. Chidambaram has called the INX Media case a “political vendetta” and the investigation agency is “acting at the behest of the Centre”.
“It is the petitioner’s case that the instant criminal proceeding is a mala fide and is borne out of political vendetta and the investigation agency is acting at the behest of the Centre which wants to malign the untainted and unimpeachable reputation of the petitioner,” P Chidambaram had said in his applications filed before the Delhi High Court.