After arrest, courtroom drama during Karti Chidambaram’s hearing
A tiny, packed courtroom in Delhi’s Patiala House court complex, where Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was produced on Wednesday witnessed some charged up scenes.
Scores of media professionals, advocates and both defence and prosecution lawyers thronged the courtroom of metropolitan judge Sumeet Anand. While the CBI was represented by special public prosecutor VK Sharma, Karti’s lawyer was senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
When the hearing started around 5 pm, the CBI read out the allegations against Karti, listing two main reasons for Karti’s arrest - his frequent travels to foreign countries and not cooperating with the agency. Singhvi in his his argument, labelled the CBI’s allegations as bizarre and fake. Singhvi argued for almost an hour on why the CBI should not be given 15 day remand of Karti as requested by the agency.
Singhvi, who was reading out Karti’s defence in first person, did not hold back when it came to taking potshots at the CBI.
He questioned why the CBI was apprehensive about Karti frequent foreign visits. “Am I (Karti) a flight safety risk?” asked Karti. “I (Karti) am not a Hindustan leaver like others. I (Karti) am a Hindustan returner,” he added. The CBI also did not hold back at one point even remarking on Singhvi’s tone which the public prosecutor felt was loud.
“Everyone can hear you,” said Sharma.
When Karti was finally sent to a day’s police custody another round of heated argument started when Singhvi asked the court to grant him half an hour visiting time with his client to which CBI strongly objected. Singhvi finally gave up, saying, “Your lordship leave it. We don’t want the half hour else they will ask for more police remand citing the loss they suffered from this half hour meeting.”
Towards the end Karti moved a few feet to take his jacket which he had taken off when a CBI officer accompanying him, pulled him. “Do not touch me,” Karti said. The judge noting the commotion warned everyone in the room and said if the behaviour continued he would “go for an in-camera hearing”.