Former Union Minister P Chidambaram's request to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case was rejected by a court in Delhi on Friday. The decision means Mr Chidambaram will remain in Delhi's Tihar jail where he is under judicial custody following his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a corruption case.
The Enforcement Directorate had on Thursday told the court that P Chidambaram's arrest was necessary in the INX Media money laundering case and it will do so at an appropriate time.
Mr Chidambaram's lawyers had contended that the Enforcement Directorate's submission was intended to "make him suffer".
Mr Chidambaram, 73, is in judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case being probed by the CBI.
The Enforcement Directorate had told the court that since Mr Chidambaram was already in judicial custody in the CBI case, he was not in a position to tamper with the evidence.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr Chidambaram, had said that Enforcement Directorate had come to the Congress leader's house to arrest him on August 20 and 21 but now they do not want to do so just to ensure that he remains in judicial custody.
Mr Mehta had argued that there were certain things yet to be probed before his custodial interrogation.
The agency needs to question six people before his custodial interrogation and it was investigating money laundering which reaches beyond this country, he had said.
He had contended that the accused cannot guide the probe and the order to take him in custody right now will curtail the discretion of probe agency.
On September 5, Mr Chidambaram was sent to 14-day judicial custody in the corruption case by the CBI till September 19.
On the same day, the court had issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate on Mr Chidambaram's plea seeking to surrender in the money laundering case lodged by the agency in which the Supreme Court had dismissed his plea against the August 20 order of the Delhi High Court denying him pre-arrest bail.
The CBI had filed a First Information Report 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 Mr Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.
The Enforcement Directorate had lodged a money laundering case later in the same year.
(With inputs from PTI)
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