INX Media case: CBI asks for 15 day custody for Karti Chidambaram

INX Media case: CBI asks for 15 day custody for Karti Chidambaram

The agency alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

Karti's father P Chidambaram was also present in the courtroom during the hearing today. The special CBI court acknowledged that the accused is a son of a former union minister, however it said that his "social status" can not be the basis of providing him any special facility like a separate jail.

Soon after the CBI court's order allowing the plea to send him to judicial custody as it did not want custodial interrogation any more, Karti moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail, which said the matter will be heard on Tuesday.

The Delhi court ordered the jail authorities to ensure that adequate security is provided to Karti Chidambaram until March 24.

Special CBI judge Sunil Rana said the social status of the accused can not be the basis for a separate prison. Karti's advocate Daya Krishnan plea filed in the court says, "Since Chidambaram had taken charge as a home minister just after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and had several accused under MCOCA prosecuted, so there is an absolute threat to his life at Tihar Jail". The CBI in the court said, "During the entire period of police custody remand, Karti Chidambaram was evasive and non-cooperative".

The defence counsels requested the court to issue direction regarding allotment of separate prison during his judicial custody.

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.

"CBI opposing a separate prison, gives me further apprehension and shows political motive and enhances my threat perception. He be produced on March 24", the special judge said.

Karti Chidambaram is being interrogated by the CBI since his February 28 arrest.

Special CBI judge Sunil Rana allowed Karti, who was arrested in the INX Media case, to carry his medicines, after the jail doctor clears it, and his spectacles, while rejecting his plea to have home food, toiletries and books.

The CBI initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for the FIPB clearance.