The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate on Friday told the Delhi High Court that custodial interrogation of former Union minister P Chidambaram was required in the INX media case, reported PTI.
The agencies made the submission before Justice Sunil Gaur who was hearing Chidambaram’s petition seeking anticipatory bail in the case. The High Court reserved its order and said the interim relief from arrest granted to the Congress leader will continue till a decision is passed on his bail plea. The High Court had earlier extended his protection from arrest till January 24.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the two agencies, argued that Chidambaram was evasive during the interrogation. Mehta claimed Chidambaram was not disclosing material in his knowledge.
Opposing the former Union minister’s bail plea, Mehta said that the investigative agencies were seeking to exercise their statutory rights to arrest him, produce him before the court and taking him on police remand to interrogate him.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the CBI had summoned Chidambaram for questioning only once last year, in June, and was not named an accused in the first information report.
Sibal argued that of the five people accused in the case, four are out on bail. He added that Chidambaram had cooperated with the investigation several times and had appeared before the agency whenever summoned.
In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against the former finance minister’s son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea. The agency accused Karti Chidambaram’s company of receiving a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to help INX Media escape punitive action for taking Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007 despite having clearance from the Foreign Exchange Promotion Board for only Rs 4 crore. P Chidambaram was finance minister at the time.
Karti Chidambaram has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case.