INX Media case: P Chidambaram’s CBI custody ends today, Supreme Court to hear Congress leader’s pleas

P Chidambaram pleas in Supreme Court: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambarams pleas on Monday challenging the Delhi High Courts order which denied him anticipatory bail in the INX Media money laundering and corruption cases. Also, Chidambarams five-day CBI custody will end on Monday and he will be produced before a special CBI court. The central probe agency is likely to seek an extension of Chidambarams custody. A special anti-corruption court had on August 22 (Thursday) sent Chidambaram to the CBI custody till August 26 for interrogation. Both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing the matter. The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R Banumathi will also hear Chidambarams fresh plea filed on Friday, challenging the arrest warrant issued against him on August 21 and the trial courts order remanding him to CBI custody. The ED had also issued a lookout notice against former Union minister after he remained untraceable for more than 24 hours following Delhi High Courts order. The CBI during the last five days grilled Chidambaram over the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals granted to INX Media when he was the Finance minister (2004 to 2008). The top court had on Friday granted protection from arrest till Monday to Chidambaram in the money-laundering case lodged by the ED. The court had sought replies from ED on Chidambarams plea and directed to list all the three matters on Monday. The ED has been asking for Chidambarams custodial interrogation. The agency even opposed the anticipatory bail plea filed by Chidambaram last week in the top court. In his argument, Chidambaram has contended that it is a violation of his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution that his petition challenging the high court order was not heard by the Supreme Court on July 20 and 21 and he was arrested on the August 21 night from his Jor Bagh residence by the CBI. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearances granted to the INX Media for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007. Chidambaram was then Finance minister. Later, the ED lodged a money-laundering case in 2017.