The judicial custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case has been extended till October 3 by Supreme Court today. The Congress leader’s lawyer Kapil Sibal also sought regular medical examination of his client to which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “Whatever rights are given to other prisoner, same can be asked by him also through application.”
The 74-year old leader also made a request for bank statement of an account in a bank at Delhi’s Jor Bagh branch, which the court has allowed. Opposing the CBI plea to extend his judicial custody, Sibal said. “The extension of custody cannot be mechanical process. The reason needs to be stated for the extension of the custody.”
Chidambaram has been imprisoned in Tihar jail since September 5 on charges of corruption in the INX Media case. On Wednesday, senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel met him at Tihar Jail. They were accompanied by Chidambaram’s son and Congress MP, Karti Chidambaram.
The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. CBI registered an FIR in the case on May 15, 2017.
INX Media co-founders Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram, P Chidambaram’s son, to secure clearance from FIPB for the foreign investment received by the company and evade punitive measures for not having the requisite approvals.
Indrani Mukerjea told CBI in March last year that a deal of $1 million had been struck between Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas to secure approval from the FIPB in favour of INX Media.