Three courts - the Supreme Court and two two trial courts - are expected to take a call on several key issues involving former Union minister P Chidambaram today, including the question of whether he would get bail or will be sent to Tihar jail. Mr Chidambaram's 15-day custody with the CBI - during which he was lodged at a room in the ground floor of the agency's headquarters in Delhi - ends today.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had extended Mr Chidambaram's CBI custody for two days after his lawyer said the 74-year-old leader should not be sent to Tihar jail, which is the usual procedure when one does not get bail after police custody expires.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna, which had also asked Mr Chidambaram to apply for bail before the special court, said they would hear the case on Thursday and meanwhile, status quo should be maintained.
But the trial court that was to decide whether he gets bail could not come to a decision as the CBI said it had made an error in calculating the date when the senior Congress leader's 15-day custody would end. The agency told the court on Tuesday that the correct date was September 5 and added, "We have made a wrong statement yesterday".
The Supreme Court will also deliver its verdict on Mr Chidambaram's appeal for protection from arrest in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. Mr Chidambaram had challenged the decision of the Delhi High Court, denying him anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the agency.
The other issue expected to come up before the top court is Mr Chidambaram's plea challenging the non-bailable warrant against him and the subsequent remand orders for custodial interrogation in the corruption case lodged by the CBI.
A designated court is also expected to decide on his anticipatory bail application in the cases registered by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in the Aircel-Maxis scam. In the last hearing, the court had reserved its order.
The CBI has accused Mr Chidambaram of facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds into the television company INX Media in 2007, when he was Finance Minister, at the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role. Karti Chidambaram was arrested in the case in 2018 and remained in custody for 23 days.
The Chidambarams were named in the case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who owned INX Media at the time. The two are currently in jail, accused of being involved in the murder of Indrani Mukerjea's daughter Sheena Bora.
The Chidambarams have also come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Rs. 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal, which involves a clearance of $800 million foreign investment granted to the company in 2006 allegedly in exchange of kickbacks. While the approval was expected to come from a committee headed by the Prime Minister, it came illegally from the finance ministry, the CBI said.