CBI wants Chidambaram's custodial interrogation

CBI wants Chidambaram's custodial interrogation

Hours after former union minister P Chidambaram was granted protection from any coercive action, the CBI today pressed for his custodial interrogation in the INX Media corruption case, alleging it was necessary as he has remained evasive and non-cooperati

The CBI on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it needed P Chidambaram's custodial interrogation in the INX Media case citing "non-cooperation" during interrogation, even as the former finance minister got protection from arrest till August 1.

Chidambaram moved an anticipatory bail application in the high court as the protection granted to him against arrest ended recently.

However, the CBI pressed before Justice A K Pathak, claiming that his custodial interrogation is necessary as he remained evasive and non-cooperative during questioning last month.

Justice Pathak listed the matter for hearing on August 1.

Arguing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that despite questions based on "cogent and convincing material on record" were put to Chidambaram, he "chose to remain evasive and did not cooperate with the investigating agency".

"The material collected so far and the intensity and the gravity of the offence which is unfolding, requires custodial interrogation of the petitioner (Chidambaram) which is quantitatively different. The investigating agency has reached bona fide conclusion that in the absence of custodial interrogation, it will not be possible to reach the truth of the allegations as the petitioner has chosen to be evasive and non-cooperative," the CBI said seeking dismissal of the anticipatory bail plea.

In his plea, Chidambaram claimed that he was being harassed in the case in which he was not named.

Chidambaram's role as finance minister in the UPA-I regime in granting approval to INX Media by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has come under the CBI scanner.

The CBI had claimed "irregularities" in granting of FIPB approval and Chidambaram's son Karti was arrested by the CBI in connection with the case in February.

According to the FIR registered on May 15, 2017, officials of the Ministry of Finance and FIPB acted under the influence of Karti to grant FIPB clearance for foreign investment, which the firm had already acquired without any formal approval from the government.

Chidambaram was the finance minister and the head of FIPB then.

The FIR claimed that there were irregularities in the granting of FIPB clearance on investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in INX media.

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