New Delhi: In a double whammy, former finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday was sent to judicial custody in Tihar jail till September 19 on a day when the Supreme Court also rejected his plea challenging the Delhi High Court order that had refused anticipatory bail to him in the INX Media case.
Giving its ruling on a CBI plea, the Special CBI court at Rouse Avenue allowed Chidambaram's application to provide separate cell to him with adequate security.
The Congress leader filed the application before the court seeking direction to ensure safe detention while in judicial custody. He also provision of adequate security to him and detention in a separate cell.
Chidambaram's lawyers have also moved an application in the court stating that the Congress leader wants to surrender in ED case. Chidambaram was in custody of the CBI after he was arrested in a midnight drama on August 21.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidambaram said that the Congress should not be sent to judicial custody and can be sent to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody.
"As far as CBI is concerned why should I (P Chidambaram) be sent to judicial custody? They've asked all questions. I'm willing to go to ED's custody. I should not be sent to judicial custody," he said.
Chidambaram was produced in Rouse Avenue Court after the apex court' rejected his appeal against the Delhi High Court order rejecting his anticipatory plea in the INX Media case being probed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) saying that grant of anticipatory bail plea would definitely "hamper" effective investigation.
A bench of Justice R Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna refused to extend protection from arrest by ED to Chidambaram and stated grant of anticipatory bail at the stage of investigation may frustrate the investigating agency in interrogating the accused and in collecting useful information and also the "materials" which might have been "concealed".
"Success in such interrogation would elude if the accused knows that he is protected by the order of the court. Grant of anticipatory bail, particularly in economic offences, would definitely hamper the effective investigation. Having regard to the materials said to have been collected by the respondent-Enforcement Directorate and considering the stage of the investigation, we are of the view that it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail," they said.
The apex court said that refusal to grant anticipatory bail would not amount to denial of the rights conferred upon the appellant under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
"Ordinarily, arrest is a part of the process of the investigation intended to secure several purposes. There may be circumstances in which the accused may provide information leading to discovery of material facts and relevant information. Grant of anticipatory bail may hamper the investigation," it said.
The CBI had on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, requesting it not to entertain the petition filed by Chidambaram challenging his CBI custody, as it would set a "bad precedent".
Chidambaram, who was arrested by CBI on August 21, had challenged the order given by the trial court of sending him to the CBI custody.
Chidambaram is facing probe in cases registered by the CBI and the ED pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union finance minister.