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Sunday 23 February 2020

INX Media scam: Chidambaram to remain in custody till 5 September

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the CBI custody of Chidambaram would continue till 5 September in the INX Media corruption case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the CBI custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram would continue till 5 September in the INX Media case. The apex court asked Chidambaram’s counsel not to press for the interim bail plea, which they had filed before the trial court on Monday and is scheduled to be heard during the day, till 5 September.

A bench of justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna said it would on 5 September hear Chidambaram’s plea in which he has challenged the non-bailable warrant issued against him as well as the subsequent trial court’s orders remanding him in the CBI custody for association in the INX Media case.

Chidambaram, after the expiry of his three-day CBI custody granted on 30 August, was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar who had said the Congress leader’s interim bail plea would also be heard after 3:30 PM on Tuesday. “Let the notice of interim bail application be given to CBI for its response on 3 September,” the judge had said, in its five-page order.

The judge had noted the development of the case in the apex court which had initially asked the trial court to consider Chidambaram’s request for interim bail on Monday itself and said that in case he was not granted the relief, his CBI custody would be extended by three more days.

In the trial court, the CBI had opposed any relief to Chidambaram and sought an extension of his custodial interrogation by a day. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal had moved the interim bail application of the former minister and senior Congress leader, who was arrested on the night of 21 August in association with the INX Media case.

Mehta sought time to reply to Chidambaram’s interim bail plea and had said that notice be issued to the CBI as it is required statutorily. “All citizens have to be treated equally,” Mehta had said, adding that personal liberty of every citizen is equal. After the judge was informed about Monday’s Supreme Court hearing, he had asked if there was any direction by the apex court to seek the relief and to decide on it that day itself.

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