While arguing the involvement of the Former Finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX media case at the Special CBI Court at Rouse Avenue on Thursday, the major argument between the counsels was the nature of Chidambaram's replies. Representing the former Home Minister, Kapil Sibal argued that Chidambaram's answers in his interrogation were not evasive. The CBI counsel - Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated Chidambaram was continuously evasive, since June 2018. Mehta has demanded custodial interrogation while Sibal has asked for bail. Here are both contradictory arguments.
Stating that the questions posed to Chidambaram in his previous interrogation were answered, Sibal argued, "If the answer were evasive is then why wasn’t the material placed before the High Court". He stated that the CBI should place the record before the High Court to test if the answers were evasive. "You can see the reply and see whether it was evasive," stated Sibal adding that Chidambaram had been cooperating with the questions. He stated that the six secretaries of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) have not been arrested in connection with the INX Media case. He further stated that Chidambaram's son Karti -the accused in the case is on bail since March 2018.
Tearing into Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi's arguments that Chidambaram had appeared when summoned for investigation, Mehta stated that Chidambaram had always been evasive. He stated that the CBI has consistently said that Chidambaram has been evasive. Contradicting claims of cooperation, he said, " The right to silence is a constitutional right but right to be evasive is complete non-cooperation." Slamming misuse of the right to remain silent, he argued," If I ask someone what is your name and he refuses to reply, then he is not exercising his right to silence, he’s being evasive." He further demanded that custodial interrogation was necessary for further investigating the case.
Continuing to detail Chidambaram's nature during interrogation, he argued, "He was so evasive during the custody that if he is allowed on bail we will not be able to reach the truth." Stating that the former Home Minister enjoyed protection from June 2018 when he was first interrogated, to August 2019, Mehta said, "Even today he remained evasive." He also argued that Chidambaram entered into a criminal conspiracy with others in the scam. Chidambaram was arrested after issuance of non-bailable warrant against him on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, after being untraceable for almost 27 hours, the Congress senior leader P. Chidambaram made a surprise arrival at the AICC head office to address a press brief. Following which he reached his residence, wherein the CBI and ED officials were present to question the Parliamentarian. However, they were blocked by the Congress leader to enter his house. They were then forced to scale walls to detain Chidambaram. He was then taken to the CBI headquarters where he was kept in the night. He was produced in court on Thursday.