A CBI special court has sent veteran Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram to Tihar jail in connection with the INX Media corruption case. Chidambaram will remain under judicial custody there for 14 days, till September 19. Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar pronounced the order on Thursday.
Following the pleas of Chidambaram's counsels, the court allowed him to carry his medicines. The court also agreed to put him up at a separate cell as he is a protectee under Z-security. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta assured that there will be adequate security for Chidambaram in the jail.
Chidambaram wanted to surrender in the money laundering case, following which the court issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Supreme Court on Thursday had dismissed his plea against the August 20 order of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail.
P Chidambaram, who will turn 74 on September 16, will spend his birthday in his jail cell.
The apex court on Thursday also decided on 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 Chidambaram and his son Karti anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis cases.
In the INX Media case, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the CBI while senior advocate Kapil Sibal represented Chidambaram.
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 Enforcement Directorate lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017.
Besides INX Media directors Indrani and Peter Mukherjea, the CBI has booked Karti, Chess Management Services and Advantage Strategic Consulting Ltd through its director Padma Vishwanathan.
It alleged that the officials by virtue of influence exercised over them by Karti, not only ignored the serious illegality on the part of the INX Media but also deliberately showed undue favours to INX Group by abusing their official position and advised the company to file for fresh clearance.
The former finance minister was only summoned once last year for questioning in the case and he appeared for the questioning. Karti has been questioned a number of times by the agency.
INX Media had sought the FIPB clearances on March 13, 2007, for permission to issue, by way of preferential allotment, up to 14.98 equity shares to three non-resident entities - Dunearn, NSR PE and New Veron Pvt Equity Ltd.
The CBI has alleged that for the services rendered by Karti through his company Chess Management Services consideration in the form of payment were received against invoice raised on INX Media by Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited (ASCPL), according to an FIR.
The FIR filed on source information alleged that Karti was indirectly handling ASCPL.
Invoices for approximately Rs 3.5 crore were also raised in favour of INX Group in the name of other companies in which Karti was having "substantial interests" directly or indirectly, the agency alleged in the FIR.
(With PTI inputs)
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