Enforcement Directorate arrests P Chidambaram in INX Media case
Former finance minister P Chidambaram was questioned in Tihar jail by Enforcement Directorate officials before being arrested.Updated: Oct 16, 2019 16:39 IST
Former Union minister P Chidambaram was arrested inside Tihar jail by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday morning in the INX Media foreign funding case, officials said. This arrest followed a three-member agency team led by ED’s deputy director Mahesh Sharma questioning him in the morning.
An officer said that since there weren’t any clear instructions on his custody, Tihar authorities will wait for court order before sending him to the agency, an official said.
Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had allowed the federal investigating agency to interrogate Chidambaram in jail and, if required, arrest him. The 74-year-old Congress leader’s wife Nalini Chidambaram and son Karti were present in Tihar jail complex to meet him.
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The court had ruled that if the grounds specified in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are made out, P Chidambaram can be arrested. The court also dismissed an application by Chidambaram seeking recall and withdrawal of the production warrant passed by the court on October 11 seeking his presence in court at ED’s request. Separately, in the Supreme Court, Chidambaram’s lawyers said CBI and ED had hatched a “game plan” to delay his release from custody.
CBI registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister. ED later also filed a money laundering case against him.
Judge Kuhar acted on an application by the ED seeking custodial interrogation of Chidambaram. The Congress leader will be produced in court on October 17 at the end of his judicial custody. He was arrested by the CBI for alleged corruption on August 21.
The judge said that ED’s application for remand was premature. He said the application for arrest of the accused was being treated as an application for interrogation of the accused and the probe agency was allowed to question the former Union minister in jail.