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Saturday 25 January 2020

INX Media case: Now ED can arrest Chidambaram, too

During the hearing in the special court, the ED sought permission for questioning and arresting Chidambaram right in the Tihar Jail if his answers were to be unsatisfactory

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has suffered a major setback in the INX Media case. A Delhi court today allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to arrest the UPA-era Union minister. Currently, he is in the custody of CBI, lodged in Tihar Jail.

On 15 October, Chidambaram filed a bail application in the Supreme Court. It accused the CBI of trying to put him in jail for humiliating him further. But the special court has allowed the ED to interrogate Chidambaram. This inquiry can last for a maximum of 30 minutes. The court has allowed the ED to arrest Chidambaram if needed. ED officials will go to Tihar Jail on Wednesday.

The ED had said in its application that it needed to interrogate Chidambaram in custody in the money laundering case related to INX Media case. During the hearing in the special court, the ED sought permission for questioning and arresting Chidambaram right in the Tihar Jail if his answers were to be unsatisfactory. The court told the ED it will not behove Chidambaram’s dignity to get interrogated and arrested in public.

The former finance minister was presented in Delhi’s Special Court on Tuesday in connection with the INX Media money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar. The former home and finance minister is in judicial custody till 17 October in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI.

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The former minister, in judicial custody in connection with the INX Media corruption case, had earlier approached the Supreme Court for bail. Chidambaram said that the CBI wanted to put him in jail for degrading (humiliating) him.

Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi have filed a bail petition in the Supreme Court on behalf of Chidambaram. The lawyers said to Justice R Bhanumathi that no such case had come to light that their client or any of his family members had tried to contact or influence any witness related to the case.

Chidambaram told the Supreme Court that there was no allegation of misappropriation or financial loss of funds in the INX Media corruption case. The court will hear the counter-arguments of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Wednesday.

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