- Frmer Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was arrested this morning
- Enforcement Directorate questioned him for an hour in INX Media case
- The 74-year-old leader has been in Tihar jail since September 5
A three-member team of the Enforcement Directorate arrested former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram this morning after questioning him for nearly an hour at Delhi's Tihar Jail in the INX Media case. The arrest came a day after a special court agreed to the agency's request for his custodial interrogation. The 74-year-old leader has been in Tihar jail since September 5 in the money laundering case.
The probe agency will be moving the CBI court later in the day seeking Mr Chidambaram's custody. The application will be heard tomorrow.
Mr Chidambaram's wife Nalini and son Karti also went to the jail this morning to meet him.
After meeting his father, Karti said the 74-year-old is in "good spirits". "I came to meet my father. He is in good spirits. Whatever these procedural games are being played are for political theatrics. This is a bogus investigation," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On Tuesday, the probe agency, which accuses Mr Chidambaram of money laundering in the INX Media case, had moved two applications -- to formally arrest Mr Chidambaram and seek his custody.
The court gave two options to the agency: To question Mr Chidambaram at the court premises for half an hour and then move application for custody, and sending him to Tihar jail for now and arresting him from there. The agency had settled for the second option.
Initially, the agency wanted to arrest him as soon as possible. The officials even suggested that Mr Chidambaram can be interrogated at the Rouse Avenue court premises and then arrested but Judge intervened saying "dignity of the person should be considered".
The judge made the remark after Mr Chidambaram at an earlier hearing in the Supreme Court -- where he sought bail in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation -- claimed the CBI was keeping him in jail to "humiliate" him. "Their game plan is to keep him in jail for 60 days... He wanted to surrender to ED while in CBI custody," Kapil Sibal - Mr Chidambaram's legal counsel and party colleague - said.
Arrested by the CBI on August 21, Mr Chidambaram has been in judicial custody since September 5 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI. The Enforcement Directorate wants to question him on a related case that allegedly involves money-laundering.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of signing off on a huge infusion of foreign funds into the firm as the finance minister in the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh in 2007 at the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram. The CBI has accused Karti Chidambaram of receiving kickbacks in the matter.