A court in Delhi on Wednesday sent Congress leader P Chidambaram to judicial custody till November 13 in connection with the INX Media case, PTI reported. The court also rejected the Enforcement Directorate’s application seeking custody of the Congress leader for one more day.
The court asked authorities in Tihar jail, where Chidambaram is lodged, to provide him medicines, a western toilet, security and separate cell. It also allowed him to have home-cooked food due to his medical condition.
Chidambaram has been in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody since October 17. The 74-year-old former Union finance minister had first been arrested in August by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is also conducting inquiries in the case. He was sent to Tihar jail on September 5.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim bail in the case on health grounds, PTI reported. Chidambaram was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Monday evening after he complained of a stomach ache. He was discharged soon after being treated for some gastrointestinal complications, and taken back to the Enforcement Directorate office.
On Wednesday, advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, mentioned the plea before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, and sought an urgent hearing. However, the court posted the matter for hearing by the appropriate bench on Thursday.
Last week, Chidambaram had filed a bail plea in the Delhi High Court in the case filed by Enforcement Directorate. This came a day after the Supreme Court granted the 74-year-old former minister bail in the case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Chidambaram told the High Court that his health was fragile and he had already suffered two bouts of illness in jail. The petition said he had lost five kilograms during his two months in jail. “It is submitted that with the onset of cold weather and the incidents of dengue etc, the petitioner’s health is likely to become more vulnerable.”
The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and its owners 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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