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

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To demand a separate cell in Tihar Jail, Karti Chidambaram, one of the accused in the INX Money laundering case, who is now in CBI's judicial custody, has filed an application in the Delhi court. It 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.

The court noted the submission of Karti's counsel that he was the son of former union finance and home minister P Chidambaram, now a member of Rajya Sabha who had dealt with various stringent penal laws such as TADA, MCOCA, UAPA and NDPS. Karti Chidambaram's father P Chidambaram was present in the courtroom during the hearing.

Various undertrials facing prosecution under the mentioned laws were lodged in Tihar Jail where Karti Chidambaram will be lodged during his period of judicial custody, hence there was fear over his security. However, the judge directed Tihar Jail authorities to provide and ensure proper safety and security to Karti during the judicial custody.

Karti was earlier remanded in CBI custody for three days after the investigative agency claimed it recovered some incriminating documents and CDs from the Chennai office of Advantage Strategic Pvt Ltd., a company linked to Karti.

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Special CBI judge Sunil Rana said the social status of the accused can not be the basis for a separate prison.

The CBI countered it saying there is threat to Chidambaram but not to his son, family or relatives and they are roaming around the country freely.

The interim relief from "any coercive action" taken by the ED came a day after the Supreme Court transferred to the Delhi High Court, his plea seeking quashing of summons issued by the probe agency.

Retorting to CBI Counsel's arguments, Krishnan submitted that their apprehension becomes even more serious with the CBI opposing their security application.

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Karti was arrested in connection with the INX media case from Chennai Airport on February 28 on his arrival from the United Kingdom.

Defence counsels Kapil Sibal and Singhvi told the court that they apprehended sequential arrests of their client by the ED after he was freed from the custody of the CBI.

Currently, he has been sent to judicial custody till March 25 in the INX Media Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance case.

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