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INX Media: PC's plea to surrender dismissed; to be in Tihar till Sept 19

INX Media: PCs plea to surrender dismissed; to be in Tihar till Sept 19

New Delhi: Offering no respite from Tihar Jail, a special CBI court here on Friday dismissed former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's plea to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the INX Media case.

Chidambaram was sent to 14 days of judicial custody on Septemeber 5, after having spent 15 days in CBI custody since his dramatic arrest on the night of August 21.

The same day that the court had sent him to Tihar Jail here, senior advocate Kapil Sibal had moved a plea to surrender to the ED in connection with the probe, following which Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had issued a notice to the financial probe agency asking it to respond to the plea.

On Thursday, the matter was heard in court, where the ED argued, through Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, that they did not need custody of Chidambaram as of yet and needed to complete some background investigation first.

The probe agency also sought the dismissal of the surrender plea, saying that the accused could not decide the time, place and condition for his remand and that this decision was the prerogative of the investigative agency.

However, Sibal had told the court that ED's only intention was to humiliate his client by keeping him in judicial custody, as their intention to arrest him was clear on the night of August 20-21, when officials had arrived at Chidambaram's Jor Bagh residence.

In fact, a team from ED was also present in court on the day Chidambaram was being sent to judicial custody, in the apprehension to arrest him if he was spared from judicial custody, according to sources in the know.

The ED had told the court that they had questioned six people in connection with the case and more such enquiries needed to be finished before probe officials can decide on when Chidambaram's custody is required.

Special judge Kuhar pronounced the order, dismissing Chidambaram's surrender plea on Friday after reserving it on Thursday.

Now, the 73-year-old senior Congress leader will remain in Tihar under judicial custody till September 19.

Team MP

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