INX Media case: Court reserves order on ED plea for Chidambaram custody

P Chidambaram

A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved order on the plea of Enforcement Directorate seeking one-day custodial interrogation of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar is scheduled to pronounce the order shortly.

The probe agency has sought 1-day custodial interrogation of the 74-year old senior Congress leader. While seeking Chidambaram's custody, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, told the court that they would like to effectively use the one day left with them.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, said the agency did not confront Chidambaram for 14 days. The court had on October 24 sent Chidambaram to ED custody till today.

Earlier in the day, P Chidambaram moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim bail in the INX Media on health grounds. The matter was mentioned before a division bench presided by Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar who kept it for hearing on Thursday.

The veteran Congressman lost 7.5 kg -- from 73.5 kg to 66 kg -- since his arrest on August 21, and was taken to the hospital four-times while in custody.

According to sources, Chidambaram, 74, is suffering from Crohn's disease, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

The former union minister could not get accustomed to the food being served in the Tihar Jail and has complained of losing weight during the custody. After considering his health conditions and several requests, a Delhi court on October 3 allowed him home-cooked food once a day.

His deteriorating health condition was visible during the court's proceedings too. On the very first day of remand hearing on August 22, Chidambaram had refused the judge's offer of a chair to sit during the proceedings. But, later he was seen sitting during other proceedings.

According to sources, Crohn's disease was controlled after Chidambaram underwent medical treatment in a Hyderabad hospital. But, it turned acute while he was in the judicial custody in the Tihar Jail. He was taken to hospital first time on October 7. He was again taken to hospital on October 23 and October 25.

On Monday, Chidambaram was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the fourth visit to a hospital. He was discharged after medication. Early in the day, he was first taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and then was shifted to the AIIMS.

Chidambaram is in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till October 30 following his arrest under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act on October 16. He is being probed for his alleged involvement in irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media during his term as the Union Finance Minister.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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