INX Media case: Delhi court gives CBI 3 more days to question Karti Chidambaram
The CBI said “new revelations” have come up and his custodial interrogation was necessary to confront him with “new facts”.india Updated: Mar 06, 2018 21:47 IST
A Delhi court on Tuesday sent Karti Chidambaram, accused in the INX Media corruption case, to three days’ CBI custody. Arguments on his bail plea will be heard on March 9.
The CBI, which wanted nine days’ custody to quiz him in the case, said “new revelations” have come up and his custodial interrogation was necessary to confront him with “new facts”.
Karti’s five-day CBI custody had ended today.
The agency said though there has been “substantial progress” in the last four days in the investigation into the case, he has “not been cooperating” and not parting with his phones’ passwords and to every question he has been saying that “I am politically victimised”.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told special judge Sunil Rana that Karti was taken to Mumbai and confronted with Indrani Mukerjea, one of the then promoters of INX media, at the Byculla prison. He statement is just one of the evidences, he said.
The 46-year-old Karti is accused of using his influence in the finance ministry — at a time when his father was the minister — to help INX Media get approval for foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors.
Mehta also opposed Karti’s bail plea, saying the investigation was at “crucial stage” and the CBI needed two weeks to file a detailed reply to his application.
“New revelations in the matter have come up day before yesterday. Cannot divulge much about investigation but we need his further custody to confront him with the new facts,” Mehta told the court.
The ASG alleged that witnesses in the case were being approached and evidence destroyed.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Karti, said the CBI just want to keep him in custody by hook or crook.
“I have cooperated. I am not obliged to answer what you (CBI) want to hear. My duty is only to make myself available for questioning,” Singhvi submitted.
“The shifting of stands/reasons by the CBI to keep me in custody is a mala fide attempt on their part to get my custody,” the senior advocate said and questioned: “Is Indrani’s statement even an admissible evidence? She is in jail in murder case of her daughter.”
He said Karti is not a terrorist with a bomb that he cannot be interrogated without being kept in custody.
The court has concluded the hearing on the arguments and will pronounce its order at 4:30 pm.
Karti was arrested on February 28 at Chennai airport on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year.
The FIR alleged that INX Media reportedly received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for Rs 4.62 crore investment but received Rs 305 crore by sale of shares at a premium of Rs 800 per share instead of Rs 10 as mentioned by the company in its application.
The CBI alleges that after the income tax department started investigating, INX Media roped in Karti’s company called Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd “to get the issues resolved” by influencing officials of the FIPB.