UPA-era finance minister P Chidambaram whose judicial custody is expiring on 19th September 2019, was produced before the court today after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an application seeking an extension of his judicial custody. The senior Congress politician is accused of misusing his position while he was the finance minister of India and granting illegal clearances to the INX Media. The court granted an extension of Chidambaram’s judicial remand till October 3.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 19, 2019
The former Union Minister P Chidambaram was represented by the lawyer duo-Kapil Sibal and Dr AM Singhvi. Defending his client, Sibal highlighted that the reason for extending the judicial custody of P Chidambaram wasn’t mentioned in the application filed by the CBI. The Judge, however, observed that Chidambaram’s judicial remand can be extended till October 3. But Sibal objected saying that extension of judicial remand cannot be done mechanically.
Representing P Chidambaram another counsel, senior advocate Dr AM Singhvi reemphasised that reasonable grounds must exist to extend the judicial remand and if granted it should not be more than 4 days. Singhvi contended that just because hearing is scheduled on September 23, a “longer date” cannot be given.
An application for medical examination of Chidambaram was placed before the court by Sibal arguing that the defence will accede what the doctors say and that their only request is to get his client’s medical examination done.
Sibal further added that Chidambaram wasn’t provided with a chair to sit and pillow on his bed. “There were 2-3 chairs outside where wardens etc. used and I would sit. Then these chairs were taken away,” said Chidambaram.
Singhvi argued that days at Tihar jail has caused weight loss for Chidambaram. Sibal, on the other hand, requested the court’s permission for Chidambaram to be examined at AIIMS.
Prosecution counsel, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta responded stating that health of any inmate is of primary concern for jail authorities and whatever is permissible in law will be done by them.
Turning down Sibal’s request seeking examination of Chidambaram at AIIMS, the Judge replied that AIIMS does not like court ordering medical examinations. He also mentioned that there was a letter from AIIMS to the High Court raising their concern over the same. However, the court allowed the medical check-up of Chidambaram. The court also allowed him to meet his family members.
Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in connection with the INX Media case on August 21, a day after the Delhi High Court denied his anticipatory bail petition and observed that Chidambaram might be the ‘kingpin’ of the INX Media scam. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought his arrest in the case. He was sent to on August 22 and subsequently