New Delhi: A court here on Thursday sent former Finance Minister P Chidambaram to judicial custody for 14 days, till September 19.
The order from the Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar came on Thursday after the expiry of his two-day CBI custody in the INX Media corruption case. He was brought to the special court hours after he withdrew his petition challenging the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him following which he was sent to the CBI custody.
Considering that he has Z-level security, the court directed that Chidambaram be kept in a separate cell. Chidambaram's 15-day CBI custody, ordered by the special court in five spells, which started after his arrest on August 21 night, ended on Thursday.
He was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, who on Tuesday sent him to CBI custody till today by taking note of the Supreme Court's order which had said that Chidambaram would be in the CBI custody till September 5.
The Supreme Court on Thursday also decided his appeal against the Delhi High Court's August 20 order in the money laundering case lodged by ED and rejected his challenge to denial of anticipatory bail.
Hours after the apex court order, another special court granted him and his son Karti anticipatory bail in the Aircel Maxis cases. In the INX matter, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is appearing for the CBI while senior advocate Kapil Sibal is representing Chidambaram.
The CBI told the court that Chidambaram can be sent to judicial custody as he was a powerful public person and should not be set free. Sibal opposed the CBI saying there was no allegation that Chidambaram tried to influence or hamper probe.
He further said that Chidambaram was ready to go to the ED custody in money laundering case related to the INX Media in which the apex court had Thursday dismissed his bail plea. Sibal said Chidambaram will surrender and ED will take him into custody. "Why should I (Chidambaram) be sent to jail (Tihar)?" he said and pressed that ED should take him into custody.
But as the Enforcement Directore did not make any move to arrest him on Thursday, that left Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar with only two options: Either release Chidambaram on bail or remand him in judicial custody. Eventually, Judge Kuhar ruled in favour of sending him to Tihar jail.