P Chidambaram Dodges Tihar Jail As Supreme Court Extends CBI Custody

By SM.02 Sep, 2019





NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister P Chidambaram today told the Supreme Court that he should not be sent to Delhi"s Tihar Jail as he is 74 and should be protected. He should be placed under house arrest, said Kapil Sibal, representing Chidambaram, who has spent 11 days in CBI custody since his arrest on August 21. After arguments, the court ordered CBI custody for the Congress leader till Thursday.

"There must be some protection to Chidambaram. He is 74 years old. Let him be put under house arrest and not to Tihar Jail," Kapil Sibal, a senior Congress leader, said in the Supreme Court.

In CBI custody, Chidambaram has been put up in a "suite" at the guest-house floor of the CBI headquarters in Delhi.

The top court said the former Finance Minister, arrested by the CBI in a corruption case, should apply for regular bail before the competent court.

"You can"t humiliate people like this," Sibal argued, wondering what would happen if the trial court rejected the request and sent him to jail.

The court said house arrest was an option only for political prisoners. The judges, R Banumathi and AS Bopanna, also questioned why Chidambaram was not making the request before the special CBI court, which has to decide on his custody.

The CBI, which is investigating allegations against Mr Chidambaram in the INX Media case, opposed the argument and said it was the special CBI court which has to decide on where the Congress leader should be held.

Chidambaram is accused by the CBI of facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds into the media company INX Media in 2007, when he was Finance Minister, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role. Chidambaram and his son were named by INX Media co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are in jail in Mumbai for the murder of Indrani"s daughter Sheena Bora. Indrani Mukerjea, who turned approver in the case, reportedly revealed details of her meeting with the Chidambarams.