HC refuses to grant bail to P Chidambaram

P Chidambaram. (PTI File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to grant interim bail to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on the ground of "deteriorating" health, as the AIIMS medical board said that his vitals were normal and hospitalisation was not necessary.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, however, directed Tihar jail authorities here to keep clean the cell, where the senior Congress leader was lodged, and provide him mineral water, mosquito net, mask. He has been allowed to take home-cooked food earlier by the trial court, which had remanded him to judicial custody till November 13.

The medical board, set up on the direction of the court, gave its report, stating he need not be admitted to the hospital. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta furnished the report prepared after examining the 74-year-old Congress leader on Friday morning.

Chidambaram sought interim bail on the ground of suffering from Crohn's disease.

Chidambaram, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on October 16, contended his condition was deteriorating and he was to be put in a sterile environment.

He claimed that he needs "urgent medical treatment for the acute and persistent abdominal pain being experienced" by him since October 5 due to Crohn's disease which he was diagnosed in 2017.

Crohn's disease refers to the inflammation of the digestive tract leading to abdominal pain, diarrhoea and also weight loss.

His counsel said Chidambaram's weight has been reduced from 73 to 66 kg.

His regular bail plea is to come up for consideration before the court on November 4.

Chidambaram was arrested on August 21 in a corruption case registered by the CBI in May, 2017 with regard to approval for foreign investment to the INX media group in 2007.

Though the Supreme Court granted him bail on October 22, he could not walk out of prison since he was arrested on October 16 by the ED in a separate money laundering case.

After the apex court's relief, he moved the Delhi HC for bail in the ED case as well.

On Wednesday, he filed an application before the HC for interim bail till November 4.

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