A Special Court hearing the case deferred the matter till 2 p.m. after Karti Chidambaram’s lawyer Abhishek Singhvi opposed the CBI plea.
Singhvi told the court that the accused had already spent five days in the agency’s custody and was confronted with Indrani Mukerjea, a former media executive jailed in a murder case and a witness in the money laundering case, in Mumbai for only 25 minutes.
Singhvi, also a Congress leader, argued that the CBI’s application for further remand didn’t include any reason why the agency was seeking an extension of Karti Chidambaram’s custody. He argued that the CBI needed to justify every minute, every hour and every day spent in its custody.
The CBI had in the last hearing of the case told the court that Karti Chidambaram was to be confronted with Mukerjea who has allegedly claimed that he demanded $1 million from her and that she had paid him the bribe.
The bribe was allegedly demanded to facilitate a clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for INX Media when P. Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister. The judge deferred the matter for hearing as the CBI counsel informed the court that Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was busy in the Supreme Court. Mehta is arguing the case for the CBI.
Singhvi said some TV channels had run news stories, claiming that Karti Chidambaram was confronted with Indrani Mukerjea for four to eight hours.
“The petitioner is present here in the court and you can ask him how long was he confronted with Indrani,” Singhvi said, adding that his client had moved a bail petition on Monday.
The court also allowed Karti Chidambaram to meet his father and mother Nalini for 10 minutes in the court room.