INX media case: Karti Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court for bail

Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram gesturing to his supporters outside the court in Delhi | PTI

After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told Special Judge Sunil Rana they did not require further custody of Karti Chidambaram, the court remanded him in judicial custody.

The 1995 death of biscuit baron Rajan Pillai was also cited, as Karti Chidambaram said he did not want to be exposed to attacks.

"However, only keeping in view the fact of social status of accused and his father, he can not be treated different from other accused persons and can not be allowed to be kept in separate prison". However, the judge directed Tihar Jail authorities to provide and ensure proper safety and security to Karti during the judicial custody.

The CBI made out its case for 15 day judicial custody of Karti Chidambaram saying that the accused has not been cooperating with the investigating agency and was "non cooperative and evasive" through out the period of his questioning during police remand. His remand comes to an end today and the CBI would seek three more days custody. Son of former finance minister has asked the court to allow him a separate washroom.

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"His father P Chidambaram has dealt with stringent penal laws including TADA and MCOCA, posing a huge security threat to Karti".

The court, which refused Karti's plea for a separate cell in the jail in view of threat perception as during his father's tenure as Union Home Minister several terrorists were kept in Tihar jail, said the social status of the Chidambaram family can not be ignored but he can not be treated differently from the other accused persons.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karti, said even he has been subjected to abuses and threats on the twitter for which there has been often no recourse.

The judge, however, did not find reason to grant his plea for a separate cell, saying Karti can not be treated differently from the other accused just because of his and his father's social status. I am appalled. There is a mala fide intent in opposing it. It also said that his bail plea would be heard on March 15 as scheduled. The court dismissed Karti's plea for early hearing of his bail application.

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The matter will now come up for hearing on March 24. "We filed a caveat before the SC that in case ED is going to file an appeal, they'll have to intimate us".

Karti was arrested by CBI on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 a year ago.

The former finance minister's son is being investigated by the CBI for laundering money he received as payoffs to facilitate investment approval in INX Media when his father was the country's finance minister. It, however, later revised the figure to Dollars 1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007).

After confirming that she had paid a bribe to Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media case, Indrani Mukerjea has now agreed to identify the location too.

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