Chidambaram’s custody necessary in INX Media case: CBI, ED tell Delhi High Court

New Delhi: CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday asserted before the Delhi High Court that custodial interrogation of Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram was required in the INX Media case as he was evasive in giving answers during questioning. The two probe agencies contended that Chidambaram, during whose tenure as finance minister FIPB clearance was granted to a media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, gave wrong answers and did not disclose the material ought to be in his knowledge. They said they required his custodial interrogation which will be qualitatively different, reports PTI. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI and ED, vehemently opposed the Congress leader’s anticipatory bail plea and argued that the agencies were seeking to exercise their statutory rights of arresting him, producing before the court concerned and taking him on police remand to interrogate him.

The submissions were made before Justice Sunil Gaur who was hearing Chidambaram’s plea seeking anticipatory bail in the corruption and money laundering cases relating to the INX Media scandal. The high court reserved its order and said that the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram will continue till the decision is passed on his plea for anticipatory bail. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the former minister was called for questioning by the CBI only once in June 2018 and he was not even named as an accused in the FIR. When Sibal claimed that the investigation was complete in the case and sanction to prosecute was granted by the government, Mehta opposed it saying the probe was still going on and they would require Chidambaram’s police custody to confront him with the evidence.

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