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The CBI and Enforcement Directorate demanded custodial interrogation of Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram to Delhi High Court on Friday in the INX Media case.
The submission was made before Justice Sunil Gaur who was hearing Chidambaram's plea seeking anticipatory bail in the corruption and money laundering cases relating to the INX Media scandal.
Delhi High Court reserves order in the anticipatory bail plea filed by P. Chidambaram in INX media case. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/9X0ahKaMAA— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2019
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI and ED, said that "the Congress leader was evasive during interrogation and was giving long answers."
"Chidambaram was not disclosing the material ought to be in his knowledge and the agencies required his custodial interrogation which will be qualitatively different," he added.
The high court reserved its order and said that the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram will continue till the decision is passed on his plea for anticipatory bail.
While opposing Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea, the law officer also said the agencies were seeking to exercise their statutory rights for arresting him, producing before the court concerned and taking him on police remand to interrogate him.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the former finance minister was called for questioning by the CBI only once in June 2018 and he was not even named as an accused in the FIR.
He further said that apparently there are five accused in the case, and four of them are on bail.
Regarding the money laundering case, Sibal said Chidambaram has joined the investigation several times and whenever called by the agency.
Last month, Delhi High Court had extended till January 24 Chidambaram's interim protection from arrest.
The central probe agency had earlier questioned Mr Chidambaram's son Karti in this case and has also attached his assets worth an estimated Rs. 54 crore, located in India and abroad.
The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.
In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had last year lodged the money laundering case in this regard.
A trial court here had also granted protection from arrest till August 7, 2018, to Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case in which he and his son Karti are named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI.