NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister P Chidambaram will be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate tomorrow after a special court in Delhi agreed to the agency’s request for the custodial interrogation of the 74-year-old who has been in Tihar jail since September 5 in the INX Media case.
The agency, which accuses him of money laundering in the same case, had moved two applications yesterday — to formally arrest Mr Chidambaram and seek his custody.
The court gave two options to the agency: To question Mr Chidambaram at the court premises for half an hour and then move application for custody, and sending him to Tihar jail for now and arresting him from there.
Initially, the agency wanted to arrest him as soon as possible. They even suggested that Mr Chidambaram can be interrogated at the Rouse Avenue court premises and then arrested but Judge intervened saying “dignity of the person should be considered”.
The agency settled for the second option. Mr Chidambaram will arrested in the morning and he will be produced in court around 4 PM when the agency applies for his custody.
At an earlier hearing in the Supreme Court — where he sought bail in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation — Mr Chidambaram claimed the agency was keeping him in jail to “humiliate” him.
“Their game plan is to keep him in jail for 60 days… He wanted to surrender to ED while in CBI custody,” Kapil Sibal – Mr Chidambaram’s legal counsel and party colleague – said.
Arrested by the CBI on August 21, Mr Chidambaram has been in judicial custody since September 5 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI. The Enforcement Directorate wants to question him on a related case that allegedly involves money-laundering.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of signing off on a huge infusion of foreign funds into the firm as the finance minister in the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh in 2007 at the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram. The CBI has accused Karti Chidambaram of receiving kickbacks in the matter.
The agency suspects that the funds are stashed abroad. Karti Chidambaram has been questioned and he is not allowed to leave the country without the court’s permission.