first_imgNew Delhi: After enjoying the hospitality of the Central Bureau of Investigation for 15 days, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was on Thursday remanded to judicial custody in Tihar Jail here for 14 days till September 19.Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar also accommodated his lawyers’ request to provide a separate cell with a cot and a bathroom to the 73-year-old veteran Congress leader along with adequate security. Chidambaram also submitted an application to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case, following which the court issued a notice to the financial probe agency to file a reply before it on Thursday (September 12). Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsSolicitor-General Tushar Mehta appeared for the CBI at the Special court here, where he cited the Supreme Court’s judgement earlier in the day to seek judicial custody for Chidambaram in the INX Media case. Mehta argued that given Chidambaram’s stature as a public figure, he was in a position to potentially influence witnesses and tamper with evidence crucial to the probe agency’s case. In support of this argument, the SG showed the statement of a witness to the judge, saying that Chidambaram could easily influence this particular witness. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayHowever, arguing against the prosecution’s application for judicial custody, senior advocate Kapil Sibal pointed out that this witness’ statement was not recorded under section 161 of the CrPC. Sibal told the court that his client should not be sent to judicial custody simply because the period of police remand is over, calling CBI’s application an attempt to humiliate Chidambaram. Moreover, Mehta also told the court that Chidambaram could potentially influence or tamper with information which is awaited under Letter Rogatories the CBI had sent to five countries (UK, Singapore, Mauritius, Bermuda and Switzerland) in July last year. While the SG said the ex-FM could potentially influence the banks from which evidentiary information has been sought, Sibal countered that it is preposterous to insinuate that Chidambaram could influence investigating authorities in five different countries, who according to the procedure are the ones that will be seeking the information from the banks. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court of India had pronounced its order on Chidambaram’s plea for protection from arrest by the ED in the same INX Media case, clearing the way for the financial probe agency to arrest him if required. In the same order, the Apex court bench of justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna also noted that any previous orders made in the case be vacated. Citing this Apex court judgement, Mehta told the trial court on Thursday that the interim bail plea which was made on directions of the Apex court’s September 2 order should be dismissed and Chidambaram should be remanded to judicial custody until he can apply for regular bail and that application can be heard. Passing the order, Special judge Kuhar noted, “There is every possibility that accused (Chidambaram) will interfere with the investigation by tampering of evidence etc. and thus, frustrate the investigation which is at a crucial stage.” Chidambaram’s team had earlier also withdrawn an application challenging the lower court’s decision to issue a non-bailable warrant for his arrest and subsequently remand him to CBI custody. According to Tihar officials, Chidambaram will be kept in a separate cell in Jail number 7, where his son Karti was also lodged when he was in judicial custody. Meanwhile, both Karti and Chidambaram were given anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis case by a separate trial court. P6last_img read more