Congress leader P Chidambaram made a thumbs-up gesture as he emerged out of the Rouse Avenue Court before being taken away by the CBI. As Republic TV attempted to confront the former Finance Minister, Chidambaram refused to answer any queries and was seen making the gesture towards the cameras. Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram was also seen making a similar gesture, a fist pump in the air, in the previous year after he was arrested by the CBI authorities. A smiling Chidambaram is seen making the thumbs-up gesture towards the camera from a very close angle.
The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday granted CBI custody of P Chidambaram till August 26 in money laundering and corruption cases related to INX Media case. Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar granted the CBI custody of Chidambaram for four days. Furthermore, the CBI has been asked to ensure the dignity of the accused is not violated in any manner during the custodial interrogation. Pronouncing the verdict, the Court has further said that the family members and lawyers are permitted to meet P Chidambaram for 30 minutes a day.
During the hearing, the prosecution had alleged that INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy and explained how power was misused to grant favours to the private company. A non-bailable warrant was issued against Chidambaram in respect of that the arrest was made, the prosecution led by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said.
SG Tushar Mehta also said there are several materials on record that the CBI needs to confront him with. "He needs to be confronted with other co-accused and witnesses. There is a money trail. We have prima facie showed a serious, active and informed role of P Chidambaram," he said. Tushar Mehta also placed on record the case diary and the details of the investigation so far. "A serious offense of money laundering will be unearthed if we are granted custodial interrogation," the SG said. Arguing for the CBI, Tushar Mehta said, "Chidambaram has tremendous potential of not cooperating in probe since he is highly intelligent." Countering Chidambaram's argument, Mehta said everybody is equal before the court.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.