The Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of Congress leader P Chidambaram till November 27 in the INX Media case.
The former Union finance minister P Chidambaram was produced through a video conferencing in the Delhi court. Wednesday was the last day of his judicial custody. The ED had arrested him in the money-laundering case on October 16. He was arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case.
The case was registered by the CBI on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had lodged a money-laundering case in this regard in 2017.
On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate vehemently opposed the bail plea of Chidambaram, who is in jail in the INX Media money-laundering case, saying he has tried to influence and threaten witnesses. The ED counsel contended that the set of evidence in the money-laundering case and the CBI corruption case is different and the PMLA case is more heinous and "much, much, much more serious than it meets the eyes".
"It is the gravest of grave offence as it is an economic offence which is a standalone offence," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, argued. Justice Suresh Kait heard the arguments of the ED counsel and Chidambaram and reserved the order on the bail plea.The 74-year-old Chidambaram is in Tihar jail in the INX Media money-laundering case.The senior Congress leader had sought bail, saying as the evidence is documentary and in the custody of probe agencies, he cannot tamper them.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, had said since the beginning, the probe agency's case was never that the Congress leader tried to influence witnesses, but suddenly in October, when he was in custody, it was alleged that he had tried to put pressure and influence key witnesses.