Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was on Thursday sent to the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for four days by a Delhi court following his arrest for alleged corruption during his tenure as finance minister.
Ajay Kumar Kuhar, a special judge appointed to the case, allowed the CBI custody of Chidambaram until August 26. "Considering the facts and circumstances, I am of the view that police (CBI) custody is justified," Kuhar said.
Chidambaram, 73, can meet his lawyers and family for 30 minutes and he will be medically examined every 48 hours while in custody.
Chidambaram was taken Wednesday night from his residence in Delhi, soon after he appeared at Congress party offices to address reporters, saying he had not been hiding for the past 24 hours -- as many believed -- but seeking protection of the law.
Flanked by party colleagues and senior lawyers he said no charge had been filed in a court by the investigating agencies. “Yet, there is a widespread impression that grave offences have been committed and my son and I have committed those offences,” said Chidambaram. “Nothing can be further from the truth.”
When Chidambaram returned to his residence after addressing the media, a team from the CBI arrived and whisked him away.
A lawyer with a degree from Harvard Business School, Chidambaram is one of the most prominent members of the Congress party and is a lawmaker in the Rajya.
He’s been facing allegations since May 2017, when the CBI registered a case against his son and unknown officials from the finance ministry for corruption in an overseas investment approval when Chidambaram was the finance minister in 2007. Since then, the Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, has also begun investigating a case of alleged money laundering.
Chidambaram had sought interim protection in both cases, however the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant him bail, saying he appeared to be the “kingpin” and “key conspirator” of the alleged scam. The Supreme Court will hear his plea on Friday seeking a stay of the High Court order.
(With inputs from Bloomberg and PTI)