In a major development in the INX Media case, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the trial court to consider the appeal for an interim bail of senior Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram for investigation in the case. Chidambaram's CBI custody ended on Monday, and hearing his petition challenging the trial court's order to remand him to CBI custody, the SC said that if the Congress leader's request for interim bail is not considered by the trial court on Monday itself, then his CBI custody will be extended for three more days, i.e. till September 5 for questioning in the INX Media case. In the light of the developments in the SC, Chidambaram is going to be produced before the trial court for his bail plea, till the time, his CBI custody has been extended for one more day, till September 3.
Furthermore, the apex court has asked the senior Congress leader to approach the concerned trial court stating that he should not be sent to Tihar Jail. During the proceedings in the Supreme Court, P Chidambaram's lawyer Kapil Sibal appealed the top court to put the senior Congress leader under house arrest, stating that no prejudice will be caused to anyone.
The senior Congress leader has been in CBI custody ever since his arrest on August 21 from his residence in Delhi. He has been in CBI custody for 11 days now after he was arrested by officials following the dismissal of his anticipatory bail plea by the Delhi High Court.
The Enforcement Directorate has been seeking custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram. Approaching the top Court on August 30, the ED said that Chidambaram's custodial interrogation is needed in the INX Media money laundering case as he is a man with "resources, intelligence and wherewithal". Meanwhile, the former Finance Minister maintained that his right to liberty cannot be curtailed by arresting him without any valid reason. During a hearing earlier in the SCI, ED made the sensational disclosure, asserting that it has direct evidence to confirm that the money-laundering is still going on in the INX Media case. In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs. 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister under UPA government. Thereafter, the ED in 2018 lodged the money laundering case in this regard.