P Chidambaram, former union minister, will not be sent to Tihar jail and will continue to stay in CBI custody till September 5. However, the bench of justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna directed Chidambaram to approach the lower court for seeking interim bail. Chidambaram will now approach the trial court to seek bail and if rejected, he will not be sent to Tihar jail but will continue to stay in CBI custody till September 5.
Earlier on Friday, Chidambaram himself offered in the Supreme Court to remain in CBI's custody in the money laundering probe. The offer was made after a bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna said it would hear on September 2 the plea of Chidambaram challenging the orders passed by the trial court remanding him in the CBI custody in the corruption case.
Senior Congress leader and lawyer of Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, requested the Supreme Court to grant Chidambaram an interim protection and put under house arrest if needed, but shouldn’t be sent to Tihar jail considering his age. Sibal further argued that it would be unfair to send Chidambaram to Tihar jail when the remand order is itself under challenge.
Sibal also contended against approaching the lower court for interim bail, saying that the lower court has already expressed its inclination to reject the bail plea in the past. The Additional Solicitor General, KM Nataraj urged the Supreme Court to invoke the remedies as per the Code of Criminal Procedure instead of a petition filed in the Supreme Court.
Chidambaram was arrested by CBI from his Jor Bagh residence in Delhi in the INX Media case on the night of August 21 as CBI had alleged irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) clearance to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during his tenure as the finance minister. The kickbacks of the transfer were allegedly routed through the companies associated with his son Karti Chidambaram. Both CBI and ED have registered cases against him under the prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, respectively.