New Delhi: A special Delhi court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking further seven-day custody of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar reserved the order after hearing arguments from both the sides.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, submitted that Chidambaram had been confronted with documents showing beneficial ownership of his family members.
"We need further custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram as he needs to be confronted with more documentary evidence and statements of other persons which reveal certain discrepancies. We have substantial evidence to show and confront," Mehta told the court.
"We have asked him 65 questions," Mehta said, adding that Chidambaram was responding to their questions in a slow manner, which affected the interrogation procedure.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, strongly opposed the extension of custody and sought two days' interim bail for medical purposes.
Sibal submits that Chidambaram is facing serious health issues.
"They didn't confront him (Chidambaram) with any witness and even if they want to confront my client, he can come and join the probe. They didn't confront him with witnesses during this 7 days remand. You don't need custody to interrogate him," he told the court.
To this, the judge asked the solicitor general if Chidambaram can be confronted in judicial custody.
"You didn't confront him with witnesses and documents as of now? Is it possible to confront him in judicial custody?" Justice Kuhur said.
"In the interest of justice, at the last stage of the investigation, it would not be possible," Mehta told the court.
Opposing the same, Sibal said, "What they want to do? Beat up my client or go coercive?"
Kapil Sibal prayed that Chidambaram is released on interim bail for two days in case the request to send him to Hyderabad on medical grounds is not allowed.
Earlier today, Delhi High Court had issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking its response on Congress leader P Chidambaram's bail application in the matter.
The ED which is probing the money laundering charges against the leader had arrested him on October 16, following which he was remanded in custody by a special court till October 24.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.
Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017.