He told the court that he needed a separate prison for security, arguing that his father was once the home minister of India and handled terror cases. "Some of the accused related to those cases are lodged in Tihar so I apprehend a great threat to my security," he said.
The 1995 death of biscuit baron Rajan Pillai was also cited, as Karti Chidambaram said he did not want to be exposed to attacks. "Something may happen to me," he alleged. Karti Chidambaram's father P Chidambaram was present in the courtroom during the hearing.
The businessman also demanded home cooked food, medicines, toiletries and spectacles.
The CBI contested his claim, pointing out that he had travelled abroad several times without security. "There is no threat to his relatives and family? They roam around freely," the CBI lawyer said, adding that there were enough security guards in jail so the "apprehension" was not justified.
Special CBI judge Sunil Rana said the social status of the accused cannot be the basis for a separate prison. But he has asked jail officials to ensure security and also allowed Karti Chidambaram to take in his spectacles and medicines.
Karti was arrested from the Chennai airport on February 28 on charges that he had facilitated, for a bribe, investment approvals for the INX media group in 2007 and 2008 using the influence of his father, who was then Finance Minister. He had landed in Chennai from the UK.
Karti is alleged to have been paid over Rs 3 crore by the two former co-owners of the media house, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail on charges of murdering Sheena Bora, the daughter of Indrani.
The CBI says it is preparing to get Peter Mukherjee's custody to follow the money trail further.