The Special CBI Court on Wednesday issued an order extending the judicial custody of the former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram accused of granting FIPB approvals to the INX Media company while serving as a minister in the cabinet in the UPA era.
The investigative agency Enforcement Directorate had earlier sought an extension of P Chidambaram’s judicial custody by 14 days till December 11 and the same was granted today. ED is currently probing charges of money laundering against the erstwhile Union minister. Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar pronounced the order, granting an additional 14 days of judicial custody to the 74-year old senior Congress leader. The counsel representing P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi did not oppose ED’s plea for an extension of Chidambaram’s judicial custody.
P Chidambaram is accused in the INX Media scam which involves charges of bribery and lobbying in granting foreign investments worth over Rs 300 crores to INX Media. INX Media was later known as NewsX, it was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjee of the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. Chidambaram is accused of misusing his power as the finance minister to grant INX Media an FIPB clearance.
It is noteworthy to mention that P Chidambaram is held under judicial custody in Tihar Jail for over 6 weeks now. The Delhi CBI court has now extended his judicial custody by another 2 weeks(14 days).
Chidambaram was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on October 16 and sent to judicial custody by October 30. On November 13 his judicial custody was extended till November 27. The Delhi court rejected his bail plea on November 15 on the grounds that Chidambaram played a “key and active role” in the commission of the offence money laundering, prompting him to file a bail plea appeal in the Supreme Court. The apex court is set to hear Chidambaram’s bail plea tomorrow where the Enforcement Directorate will make its submissions against it.