Former Union minister P Chidambaram was arrested inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday morning in the INX Media case, said multiple reports. This came after a three-member agency team, led by ED Deputy Director Mahesh Sharma, questioned him in the morning.
The Delhi court hearing the case issued a production warrant against Chidambaram, PTI reported. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar issued the production warrant after the Enforcement Directorate told the court that it has interrogated the former finance minister inside Tihar Jail. The agency has sought 14-day custodial interrogation of the Congress leader.
Tihar jail authorities, however, will wait for a court order before sending the Congress veteran to the agency, an unidentified official told Hindustan Times. Chidambaram will be produced in the court by jail authorities around 3 pm on Thursday, reported The Hindu. The Enforcement Directorate will seek his release from Tihar Jail and subsequent custody. Meanwhile, the directorate informed Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court that it has arrested Chidambaram and recorded his statement during the interrogation.
Chidambaram’s wife and son, Nalini and Karti Chidambaram, went to the jail on Wednesday morning to meet him, reported NDTV. “He is in good spirits,” Karti Chidambaram told ANI after meeting his father. “Whatever these procedural games are being played are for political theatrics. This is a bogus investigation.”
The 74-year-old former Union finance minister has been in jail since September 5 in connection with the case. He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is also conducting inquiries in the case, on August 21. Chidambaram’s judicial custody was set to end on October 17.
The directorate, which has accused the Congress leader of money laundering, had moved two applications on Monday – to formally arrest Chidambaram, and seek his custody. On Tuesday, the court of special judge Ajay Kumar gave the Enforcement Directorate two options – to question Chidambaram at the court premises for half an hour and then move an application for custody, or send him to Tihar Jail and arrest him from there.
The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
The CBI has alleged that there were irregularities in the foreign direct investment clearance granted to INX Media by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in 2007. Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time. The agency has submitted purported emails between INX Media and a company belonging to Karti Chidambaram, claiming that these emails will “prove offences committed”.
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