INX-Media case: ED seeks custodial interrogation of PC

Former finance minister P Chidambaram. PTI Photo

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday moved a Delhi court seeking custodial interrogation of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the money laundering case registered in connection with the FIPB approval to the INX media group.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar issued a production warrant against Chidambaram, directing the Tihar jail authorities to present the senior Congress leader before the court on October 14.

Chidambaram is at present lodged in Tihar jail here after having been arrested by the CBI on August 21.

The ED, in its plea, contended that it wanted to quiz the Rajya Sabha MP for 17 alleged bank accounts.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, submitted the investigating officer had earlier not shown willingness to arrest Chidambaram but after recording statement of 12 witnesses, it was appropriate to seek custody of the accused.

He also said that the custodial interrogation of the accused would help the investigating agency to "unravel the laundering of the proceeds of the crime, which have crossed the border of the country and have been parked in foreign countries."

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court issued notice to Chidambaram and his son Karti on the plea made by the ED to cancel their anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis deal, also related to alleged irregularities in FIPB approval.

Justice Suresk Kumar Kait sought a response from the father-son duo and put the matter for consideration on November 29.

The ED challenged the September 5 order of the special court granting relief to 74-year-old Chidambaram and his son.

Chidambaram had already approached the top court against the Delhi High Court's order rejecting his bail plea. The Supreme Court had fixed the matter for hearing on October 15.

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