P Chidambaram, after his release from jail on Wednesday evening, dialed his lawyers and Congress colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi and thanked them as he made his first few phone calls. The senior Congress leader was granted bail after 106 days in prison, mostly in Delhi's Tihar jail.
Sources say the former Union Minister plans to visit Mr Sibal and Mr Singhvi and personally thank them for fighting his case in court.
Mr Chidambaram, who went to parliament and addressed a press conference today, reportedly told party men that his cell in Tihar jail was open and "extremely cold". The 74-year-old said he had to keep the cell warm using big overcoats. He interacted with fellow prisoners who were mostly undertrials, say sources.
According to sources, Mr Chidambaram, who is suffering from Crohn's disease, shared that he was able to gain five kilos after he was allowed home-cooked food in Tihar. His lawyers had argued multiple times in court while seeking bail that he had lost weight and needed treatment.
At his first press conference, in which he focused mostly on the state of the economy, Mr Chidambaram said he had emerged "stronger in spirit and body" after more than three months in jail.
"My neck is stronger, my spine is stronger, my head is stronger after sleeping on a wooden board (in jail)," Mr Chidambaram said. He also shared that his back had improved vastly as he had to sleep on the floor without a pillow.
Mr Chidambaram reportedly confided in colleagues that the Supreme Court order granting him bail was "historic" as it tackled the concept of evidence in a sealed envelope, which is against the principle of natural justice.
To Mr Chidambaram's petition challenging the Delhi High Court's rejection of bail, the Supreme Court had said it was not fair to make a ruling based on documents in sealed cover, as the High Court judge had done. ""While the judge was empowered to look at the materials produced in a sealed cover to satisfy his judicial conscience, the judge ought not to have recorded findings based on the materials produced in a sealed cover," the top court noted.
Mr Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 by the CBI and on October 16, he was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate. Mr Chidambaram is being investigated over allegations that as Finance Minister of the country in 2007, he facilitated infusion of foreign funds into the company INX Media.
The Supreme Court has ordered Mr Chidambaram not to speak to the press or make public statements related to the case.
The BJP has accused the Congress leader of violating his bail condition by claiming that his "conscience and record as a minister" were clear.