Karti Chidambaram sent to judicial custody till March 24

INX Media case Karti Chidambaram sent to judicial custody till March 24

Karti was arrested on February 28 at the Chennai airport on his return from the United Kingdom, in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 a year ago alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister. "His father P Chidambaram has dealt with stringent penal laws including TADA, MCOCA, UAPA and NDPS posing a huge security threat to Karti", Krishnan said, adding that Karti can not be exposed to criminals.

Observing the counsel's submission, the court said that the apprehension raised by senior counsel of the accused can not be ignored keeping in view his social status, but more specifically, due to his father's, who is former a Union Minister.

In a related development, the Delhi High Court gave a major relief to Karti Chidambaram, directing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is separately probing the allegations, not to arrest him till the next hearing of the case on March 20. Also, the Court directed the police to ensure that Karti gets adequate security inside the jail.

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

While rejecting Karti's plea for separate cell and bathroom, Special Judge Sunil Rana said he can not be treated differently from other accused persons just because of his and his father, former union minister P Chidambaram's social status.

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Karti Chidambaram was produced before Delhi's Patiala House Court on Monday after his three-day CBI custody ended. The court also rejected his counsel's request that he be allocated a separate cell for himself in judicial custody. His remand comes to an end today and the CBI would seek three more days custody.

The counsel had sought a separate cell for Karti Chidambaram while citing possible threats from "terrorists" lodged at Tihar jail during P Chidambaram's stint as home minister. "Some of the accused related to those cases are lodged in Tihar so I apprehend a great threat to my security", he said.

The judge, however, did not find reason to grant his plea for a separate cell, saying Karti can not be treated differently from the other accused just because of his and his father's social status. Today the CBI would appraise the court about the fresh details that have cropped up following the questioning of Karti's chartered accountant, Bhaskararaman. "He be produced on March 24", the special judge said.

Karti was arrested on his return from the United Kingdom in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 previous year.

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