ED asked not to arrest Karti Chidambaram for now

Karti Chidambaram's CBI custody extended by 3 days

A Delhi Court on Friday extended Karti Chidambaram's CBI custody by another three days in connection with the investigation into the INX Media case after the probe agency claimed to have got incriminating materials revealing his "direct nexus" with the Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Limited.

The agency still has the option of keeping him in custody for three more days under the law which mandates 15 days of police custody, subject to a court order. However, Karti's counsel in the special CBI court Abhishek Manu Singvi contested that this address had been shared with the probe agency in July past year and whatever is in the knowledge of the accused has already been disclosed by him.

Senior counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Karti Chidambaram, told the court that they were apprehending sequential arrests of their client by the ED after he is freed from the custody of the CBI, which is separately probing the case.

ASPL is alleged to have been indirectly controlled by Karti, and the company is alleged to have received kickbacks in the INX Media case.

Besides, Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had registered a money laundering case against Karti in May 2017 for his role in facilitating clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for INX Media Ltd and its Directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea both accused in the murder of Sheena Bora and others.

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Half an hour before the hearing commenced, Karti's father, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and mother Nalini Chidambaram arrived in the courtroom and sat in the third row after a brief interaction with their son.

During the proceedings, ASG Mehta said Karti's custodial interrogation was necessary as "new incriminating materials" and documents have been found and there was a need to confront him with them.

The ASG submittted that Karti has so far been maintaining "a false stand" that he was not connected to the firm, but the new documents seized during the raid showed the company belonged to him or his family members and he needed to be confronted with them.

The trial court order came hours after a HC bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta granted Karti interim protection from arrest till March 20. "By way of asking for remand in driblets, the CBI is actually harassing the accused (Karti)", he said. But I ask myself what do common criminals do when released in one case and fear arrest in the other case. Sources said when asked why ASCPL directors had bequeathed their shares to his daughter, Karti didn't deny the fact but told the officers to "ask the company directors about it".

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