March 21, 2018

INX Media corruption case

12 March 2018, 09:16 | Lena Norman

12 days Judicial Custody for Karti Chidambaram, No Separate Prison Cell: CBI Court

Karti Chidambaram in Tihar Jail till March 24

The Delhi High Court on Saturday restrained the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from arresting Karti Chidambaram, the son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, till March 20 in connection with the INX media money laundering case. It alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told Special Judge Sunil Rana they did not require further custody of Karti Chidambaram, the court remanded him in judicial custody.

Karti's father P Chidambaram was also present in the courtroom during the hearing today. CBI had asked for a three day extension for Karti on the basis that new evidence had been discovered against him, which had to go through the forensics tests.

There is an apprehension that there is grave threat to the safety and security of Karti in judicial custody and therefore, he should be lodged in separate prison. He also sought a separate cell in case Karti was sent to judicial custody.

CBI then argued in opposition to the plea for separate cell on the ground of "threats", and said if at all they were threats, they would be for P Chidambaram and not for Karti. "He [Karti Chidambaram] can not be treated different from other accused persons and can not be allowed to be kept in separate prison", the court said. Karti's failure to appear before the investigating officer despite the directions of the Supreme Court led to the issuance of a lookout notice, he said. he agency apprehended that he might abscond to a foreign country to evade investigation, Rajagopalan added.

The Delhi court ordered the jail authorities to ensure that adequate security is provided to Karti Chidambaram until March 24.

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Judge Rana also allowed Karti to carry his spectacles and medicines as per prescription, subject to the approval of Jail doctor.

The matter will now come up for hearing on March 24.

On March 9, a Delhi court had sent him to CBI custody for three days. Denying the contention, Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan submitted that the high court in its order has not stated anything about his arrest while permitting him to travel overseas.

Karti was arrested on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 past year.

The CBI initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for the FIPB clearance.

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