A special court on Thursday, 22 August, granted CBI four-day remand of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram for custodial interrogation. The Court felt police custody of Mr. Chidambaram justified based on facts and circumstances.
CBI had arrested Mr. Chidambaram in connection with INX- Media case on the late evening of Wednesday from his South Delhi house following two days of high drama. It presented Mr. Chidambaram before the Special Court on Thursday afternoon seeking five-day remand of him.
The Court in its order said that allegations against Mr. Chidambaram are serious in nature and that need detail and in-depth investigation. It further said, “The enormity of the money allegedly involved in the case and the persons who are accused in the case necessitates an in-depth investigation.”
The Court heard for three hours, as Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi objected CBI’s demand to take Mr. Chidambaram in custody before it reserved the decision for another two hours, and announced the verdict.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, finally, arrested P Chidambaram, the Congress stalwart who adorned portfolios like Home and Finance in the central governments during his forty years of a political career.
Sleuths of the premier investigating agency picked Mr. Chidambaram from his South Delhi home, Jora Bagh, at about 10 PM on Wednesday following 26 hours of judicial and political spectacle.
CBI and ED are after Mr. Chidambaram in connection with a financial fraud of INX-Media in 2007. However, the political bigwig has been enjoying judicial protection against arrest for the last 13 months till Tuesday when the Delhi High Court refused to extend the protection. The court judged the “magnitude and enormity” of the evidence by the investigating agencies enough to deny Chidambaram an anticipatory bail. The court, even, cited him as the kingpin in the case.
In a high voltage drama, as the news channels showed, the CBI personnel scaled the wall to appear inside the Jora Bagh building after they failed the gate through. From there they drove the former Minister, amid raucous sloganeering and resistance by Congress workers, to the CBI office where they formally arrested him at 10.27 PM.
After the High Court disappointed Chidambaram, he made a failed attempt to get relief from the Supreme Court. On Wednesday the Supreme Court witnessed a battery of lawyers- Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Salman Khurshid making a frenetic effort to get Chidambaram the bail. The apex court refused to take up the case on Wednesday on technical ground, rather it scheduled Friday for its hearing.
In between, the CBI issued a lookout notice against Chidambaram after it failed to trace him. Mr. Chidambaram was not seen in public since Tuesday afternoon after the judicial setback. However, he had appeared at the Congress headquarter along with his colleagues in the evening, had a short media briefing there, and his subsequent arrest followed that.
Mr. Chidambaram, in his address, said that in the case he was not named as an accused. He refuted the allegations that he was hiding; rather he asserted his faith in law and wished the investigative agencies to show their faith in the law.