- P Chidambaram had been uncooperative, CBI told a Delhi court
- The CBI had sought a five-day extension of his custody
- The Top Court refused to take up his request for protection from arrest
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The CBI told a special court it needed Mr Chidambaram's custody for five more days as it wanted to bring him face to face with a co-accused and unearth a "larger conspiracy." "He has been confronted with one of the co-accused. The accused is to be confronted with some other accused as well. It is also submitted that certain files have to be shown concerning transaction of INX Media Pvt Ltd," PTI quoted Solicitor General Tushar Mehta telling Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar.
Mr Chidambaram also fought hard in the Supreme Court but got no reprieve on Monday. "I have a right to be heard," Kapil Sibal told the top court on behalf of Mr Chidambaram, referring to the team's failed attempts to get a top court hearing on the former minister's request for pre-arrest bail on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which he was arrested by the CBI. Mr Chidambaram's lawyers argued that the CBI should have waited for a court decision instead of arresting him on Wednesday. The Supreme Court will hear a fresh plea tomorrow.
Mr Chidambaram is accused by the CBI of facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds into the media company INX Media in 2007, when he was Finance Minister, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role.
Mr Chidambaram and his son were named by INX Media co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are in jail in Mumbai for the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora. Indrani Mukerjea, who turned approver in the case, reportedly revealed details of her meeting with the Chidambarams.
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money-laundering case linked to the INX Media allegations. Last week, the Supreme Court had restrained the agency from arresting him till Monday. The protection has been extended till today.
The Enforcement Directorate, in an affidavit, alleges that Mr Chidambaram and his aides and co-conspirators (names withheld by the directorate) created a web of shell companies in India and abroad for money laundering.
"Whether Chidambaram is Ex-Finance Minister and former Home Minister or an ordinary citizen, pre-arrest bail should not be granted and it will be travesty of Justice if the top court considers the accused's plea," says the Enforcement Directorate.
The senior Congress leader was arrested on Wednesday evening amid high drama after his lawyers failed to get the Supreme Court to urgently hear his petition challenging the rejection of his pre-arrest bail request by the Delhi High Court.
Mr Chidambaram, who hadn't been seen since the previous evening, surfaced dramatically at a Congress press conference on Wednesday and then drove to his home in South Delhi, where CBI officers arrested him.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court had dismissed Mr Chidambaram's request for anticipatory bail, calling him the "kingpin", after which he petitioned the Supreme Court.