India, Sept. 5 — Former finance minister P Chidambaram was sent to Tihar jail till September 19 in the INX Media case after a Delhi Court declined to accept his request to free him on bail. In a last-ditch effort to convince the judge to keep Chidambaram out of Tihar jail, his legal team had minutes earlier even offered his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate which could take him into custody to question him.
It was an offer high on symbolism, particularly since the Supreme Court had already rejected his request for pre-arrest bail in the INX Media case being investigated by the ED.
With the top court’s order in its favour, the Enforcement Directorate can arrest him any time. But the ED has decided against making its move today. That left Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar with only two options: Either release Chidambaram on bail or remand him in judicial custody.
Judge Kuhar ruled in favour of sending him to Tihar.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of offences, stage of investigation, the accused is remanded to judicial custody,” the judge ordered.
The judge had heard both sides argue on Chidambaram’s next stop for a little over 30 minutes before he reserved his order. As the two sides waited for him to come back to court with his verdict, Chidambaram who has spent 15 days in custody of the CBI looked a little tired. Like always, he had been standing in the accused box as he waited for the judge to return.
A court staffer brought him to chair. It wasn’t the first time that Chidambaram had been offered a chair but he had always, pointedly and firmly, declined. Today, he decided to sit down.
His team had been prepared for the verdict, and quickly moved requests.
Sibal started with a request to carry his spectacles and prescribed medicines to Tihar jail, India’s largest and most populous. Chidambaram, who has been the country’s former home minister, also requested a separate cell with a bathroom in light of concerns over his security. The judge accepted these two sets of application. On the third – a formal request to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate – the judge issued notice to the ED to seek its stand.
Source from HT media