INX Media case: CBI asks for 15 day custody for Karti Chidambaram

Delhi High Court

"The apprehension raised by the senior counsel of the accused can not be ignored keeping in view the social status of the accused and his family, more specifically his father, who is a former union minister". "He [Karti Chidambaram] can not be treated different from other accused persons and can not be allowed to be kept in separate prison", the court said.

While remanding him to judicial custody, the court directed the Tihar jail authorities to provide adequate security.

Indrani and Karti were confronted in Byculla prisons in Mumbai on March 4 in connection with the case of INX Media getting government approval for foreign direct investment after money changing hands. The CBI produced Karti, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, in a Delhi court after his three-day police custody expired and sought 15-day judicial custody.

Earlier on March 10, the Delhi High Court restrained the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from arresting Karti Chidambaram till March 20.

Opposing the security application, the CBI argued that while there may be a threat to P Chidambaram, no threat lies to Karti or his family members, as they continue to travel around the country at free will.

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Karti had said in his application, his father P Chidambaram who, as union home minister had dealt with various stringent penal laws such as TADA, MCOCA, UAPA and NDPS and several terrorists were lodged in Tihar jail.

CBI counsel V K Sharma opposed the application for a separate cell and bathroom saying there was no threat to Karti.

When the CBI opposed the plea for separate cell on the ground that if at all there was any threat, it was to P Chidambaram and not his son, Krishnan expressed shock and said the CBI's objection has enhanced the threat perception. Organisation investigating me should be concerned about my security. We are outraged with the CBI stand on Karti's plea. "Can it be denied", he asked. Karti remained "evasive" and "non-cooperative" during interrogation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the court. Now his bail plea will be heard on March 15. However, when the issue was taken up in the court on March 9, the agency decided not to press for it as of now while keeping its right to file application once again at the appropriate time.

Meanwhile, Karti's CA, S Bhaskararaman, has moved the court for anticipatory bail in the same case.

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