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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Home-cooked food, AC, security, medicines: Things P Chidambaram wants in custody

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while agreeing to the Congress leader’s demand for home-cooked food and security said that air conditioning and separate cell cannot be provided.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2019 17:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram after being produced in the Rouse Avenue Court in connection with the INX Media corruption case, in New Delhi earlier last month.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram after being produced in the Rouse Avenue Court in connection with the INX Media corruption case, in New Delhi earlier last month. (PTI)
         

Former Union minister P Chidambaram, who is in judicial custody in INX Media case, moved a Delhi court on Thursday seeking certain facilities for his time in custody. This includes lodging at CBI office or other similar place, security, home-cooked food, western toilet, medicines and spectacles and family visits.

The application was filed by the Chidambaram’s lawyer Kapil Sibal on the day his judicial custody ended and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought his 14-day custody in a money laundering case. The ED arrested Chidambaram Wednesday after questioning him in Tihar jail, where he is in custody on corruption charges brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while agreeing to the Congress leader’s demand for home-cooked food and security said that air conditioning and separate cell cannot be provided.

Chidambaram is being probed for alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. His son Karti Chidambaram is also an accused in the case.

Opposing ED’s application for Chidambaram’s custody for interrogation, Sibal said: “This is only a ruse. Arrest him, keep him in remand and then just as 60 days are over, initiate arrest.” He added that no new reason has been given for his arrest.

In his rebuttal, Tushar Mehta said that the ED had submitted to the Supreme Court that there was a need for custodial interrogation. “It was not contended that custody was needed urgently… On September 5, we had said that we are yet to examine some witnesses and therefore his custody was not sought at the time. Last witness was examine on October 9 and filed this application on October 14.”