Chidambaram follows son's suit, to be lodged in Tihar's jail No 7

SC refuses anticipatory bail to P Chidambaram in INX Media case
The top court dismissed Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him anticipatory bail in the case.

New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram will be lodged in jail number-7 which is for economic offenders in the capital's Tihar Jail.

Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram was also lodged in the same jail earlier.

The court has allowed the former Union minister to take his medicines along with him. Since Chidambaram enjoys Z-category security, the court also allowed him to be kept in a separate cell with adequate arrangements for his security.

The court here sent Chidambaram to 14 days' judicial custody in the INX Media case.

The senior Congress leader, who was arrested by the CBI in the case last month and had undergone interrogation, will be lodged in Tihar Jail till September 19.

With a high-profile undertrial like Chidambaram set to be lodged in the prison, one would expect special arrangements to be made.

On being asked about any specific preparations, Director General of Prisons, Sandeep Goyal told IANS that "A jail is a jail. We only follow the court's orders. No one lodged in a jail is special."

He said Chidambaram would be treated like a normal prisoner.

Chidambaram is facing trial for financial crimes and is also aged above 60 but Goyal only said "We will do what the jail manual says," as he brushed aside any security concerns.

Jail number-7 houses 600-700 inmates, the majority of whom are jailed for crimes against women though the block has traditionally been used to house economic offenders.

A Delhi court Thursday sent former finance minister P Chidambaram to Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sent Chidambaram to 14-days judicial custody till September 19.

The court allowed him to carry his medicines to jail.

"INX Media and Aircel Maxis are non-cases. They(probe agencies) will never prepare a charge sheet. There is no evidence to charge us. For political reasons we have to go through this process. I have gone through this," Karti Chidambaram told reporters. Karti said he was confident his father will return home soon.

Chidambaram, 73, was produced before a Delhi court on Thursday after expiry of his 2-day CBI custody in the case.

Chidambaram's 15-day CBI custody, ordered by the special court in five spells, which started after his arrest on August 21 night, ended on Thursday.

SC refuses anticipatory bail from ED arrest in INX Media case

The Supreme Court on Thursday had refused to grant Chidambaram pre-arrest bail in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.

The top court dismissed Chidambaram's plea challenging the Delhi High Court verdict denying him anticipatory bail in the case, saying economic offence has to be dealt with differently as it affects economy of the country.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail.

Grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram at this stage will hamper investigation, it said.


The Congress leader's 15-day CBI custody, ordered by the special court in five spells, which started after his arrest on August 21 night, comes to end today and he will be produced before the trial court.

The investigating agency has to be given sufficient freedom to conduct probe into the case, the apex court said.

It also rejected Chidambaram's application for direction to the ED to produce transcripts of his questioning conducted by the agency on three dates.

The top court said it has power to peruse case diary even before commencement of trial and added that it has refrained from perusing documents placed before it by ED in sealed cover as it may prejudice other accused.

Anticipatory bail is not a matter of right and refusing the relief is not violation of Article 21, it said.

The apex court, however, said Chidambaram can approach the court concerned for grant of regular bail in the case.

The CBI had lodged an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in 2017.

The Delhi High Court had on August 20, rejected anticipatory bail pleas of Chidambaram in the INX media scam cases lodged by the CBI and ED.

The high court held that he was "prima facie the kingpin" in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases and "simply because he is a Member of Parliament would not justify grant of pre arrest bail to him".

Holding that the former Union minister's custodial interrogation was required for an effective investigation, the high court had said, "granting bail in cases like the instant one will send a wrong message to the society".

Anticipatory bail to Chidambaram for Aircel-Maxis case

Meanwhile, a Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in Aircel Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

Special Judge O P Saini granted relief to the Chidambarams and directed them to join the probe in the cases.

"In event of arrest, they be released on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of like amount. The accused are directed to join the investigation, the court said.

The court said that both the probe agencies, instead of arguing the matter, were seeking date after date since the filing of the complaint on pretext of further investigation.

It also said that the probe in the Aircel-Maxis cases have been highly belated by both the agencies as almost entire material was in their possession since beginning.

The conduct of the agencies to seek date after date on pretext of further probe speaks for itself and needs no elaboration, the court said.

"No possibility for the Chidambarams to commit similar crime as they don't hold official position in government now," said the court, adding that the allegations of the agencies against the Chidambarams were not of grave magnitude as money laundered was only Rs 1.13 crore.

"The allegations against accused are also not of grave magnitude as money laundered is only Rs 1.13 crore, which is paltry amount in comparison to allegations against Dayanidhi Maran and others, where the bribe amount was Rs 749 crore but he was not arrested," the court said.

It further added that the investigating agencies should not discriminate between two similar situated accused, as this was against the rule of law.

The Chidambarams are under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Aircel-Maxis deal as also the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS.)

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