Delhi court issues production warrant against Chidambaram in INX Media money laundering case

PTI

New Delhi: Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram after being produced at Rouse Avenue Court in connection with INX media case, in New Delhi, Monday, Sept 2, 2019. The Supreme Court on Monday ruled if Chidambaram's request for interim bail is not considered by the trial court on Monday itself, his CBI custody would be extended by three more days. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram after being produced at Rouse Avenue Court in connection with INX media case, in New Delhi, Monday, Sept 2, 2019. (PTI Photo)

A Delhi court Wednesday issued production warrant against former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by Enforcement Directorate.

The ED informed Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, who issued the production warrant, that it has interrogated Chidambaram in Tihar jail, where he is currently lodged in connection with the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI, and arrested him.

The court directed the jail authorities to produce the 74-year old senior Congress leading at 3 pm on Thursday.

Advocates Amit Mahajan and N K Matta, appearing for the agency, told the court that the ED officials have also recorded the statement of Chidambaram during interrogation.

The ED also filed a separate plea seeking his 14-day custodial interrogation and the court said that it will take up the matter tomorrow.

A three-member team of investigators of the central probe agency arrived at the prison at 8:15 am, and is understood to have grilled him there for about 2 hours.

The arrest has been made under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), ED said.

The special court had on Tuesday allowed the ED to interrogate Chidambaram in Tihar jail, and arrest him if necessary, in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.

The former Union minister’s judicial custody in the INX Media corruption case, which was filed by the CBI, ends on October 17. Since his arrest on August 21, he had till Tuesday spent 55 days in custody — both of the CBI as well as judicial — in nine spells.

The Supreme Court had on September 5 refused to grant Chidambaram pre-arrest bail in the money laundering case lodged by the ED, saying his custodial interrogation was necessary and that grant of anticipatory bail at this stage will hamper investigation.

Chidambaram on Tuesday sought bail from the Supreme Court in the INX Media corruption case saying the CBI wants to keep him in custody to humiliate him.

As for the money laundering case, ED’s had on Friday moved a plea seeking production warrant of the senior Congress leader.

Chidambaram had also moved a plea to recall its order by which Tihar authorities were directed to produce him before it which was rejected by the court.

(PTI)