The Delhi High Court today asked the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to form a medical board by this evening and assess the health of former union minister P Chidambaram, who is in jail in connection with the INX Media case. The board has to submit a report by tomorrow afternoon, the court said. The court was hearing the Congress veteran's request for interim bail.
Mr Chidambaram, 74, was briefly admitted to AIIMS on Monday and had requested bail to fly to Hyderabad for the treatment of a stomach ailment.
The high court said that a Hyderabad-based gastroenterologist - Dr Nageshwara Redy - be included in the AIIMS board to give his opinion on the health of Mr Chidambaram, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail. If Dr Reddy is unable to participate, then the board will give its opinion, the court said.
On Wednesday, Mr Chidambaram was moved back to Tihar to judicial custody November 13 by a Delhi court after the Enforcement Directorate's custody ended.
In Tihar Jail, the senior Congress leader will have a separate cell, a western toilet, home-cooked food and medicines, the judge had said on Wednesday.
The former finance minister is seeking interim bail in the INX media money-laundering case on medical grounds, saying his condition is deteriorating and that he needs to be in a sterile environment.
"My only request is give him a sterile environment for now. If the AIIMS board says it's not needed, you can send him back," Mr Chidambaram's lawyer and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told the court today.
His main bail request will be heard on November 4.
Mr Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21. He is accused of a role in irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the INX Media group for the infusion of overseas funds amounting to Rs. 305 crore in 2007, when he was Finance Minister of the country.
On October 16, the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating money-laundering charges in the INX Media case, arrested him from Tihar Jail.
Last week, the Supreme Court granted Mr Chidambaram bail, saying there is no possibility of Mr Chidambaram absconding and "no whisper" of any evidence that he tried to influence even one witness.