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INX Media: Court terms CBI's ground to seek Chidambaram's custody as 'vague'

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
While the CBI succeeded in securing three more days of custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case, a Delhi court Friday took strong objection to its seeking police custody in part manner and even said the ground for it was "vague".
The judge got irked as the former finance minister was Friday produced for the third time since his arrest on August 21 and asked as to why the agency did not seek the entire 15-day of police custody when he was produced for the first time.
CBI had sought Chidambaram's 5-day custody on the first day of his production in the court and the similar request was made when he was brought for the second time on August 26, and so was the case today when another 5-day extension was sought, the court noted.
According to the law, the maximum period of police custody in the corruption cases like the one in which Chidambaram is booked is 15 days.
During the proceedings, the judge asked the CBI as to why it required five more days for interrogating Chidambaram and sought case diary from the agency.
When the Additional Solicitor General K M Natraj said there are voluminous documents and Chidambaram needs to be confronted with them, the judge said the CBI should have asked for custodial interrogation of Chidambaram for 14 days on the very first day of his production if that was the case.
"You (CBI) were aware about the volume of documents. Why did you ask for only five days custody for the first time? Second time also you asked for five days only. Why this approach," the court asked.
ASG Nataraj replied that it all depends upon how Chidambaram answers the questions.
The judge, after going through the case diary, said, "The ground you (CBI) have taken for further custodial interrogation is very vague".
The court, however, extended Chidambaram's custody till Monday after his counsel informed the court about an agreement between the accused and the CBI before the SC, by which Chidambaram's counsel had agreed for the extension of his custody till September 2, when the apex court will again hear the INX Media matter.
Chidambaram was first produced before the court on August 22 and the CBI had sought his five day custody. The court had granted four day custodial interrogation.
He was again produced before the court on August 26 and the CBI sought extension of his custody by five more days. However, the court had extended his custodial interrogation by four days which ended today.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 7:35 PM IST

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