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A CBI court on Friday rejected Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s plea to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media corruption case. Chidambaram, who has been in custody—first in the CBI and later judicial—- is currently in Tihar Jail. He had on Wednesday moved application to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate on connection with the INX Media case.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar rejected his plea  after the ED had told the court yesterday that his arrest was necessary in the INX Media money laundering case and it will do so at an appropriate time. “As of now, we don’t want his custodial remand. We will seek his custody at an appropriate time. Since Chidambaram is already in judicial custody, he cannot tamper with evidence or influence witnesses. We are using this time to its maximum to investigate the matter,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court. He said, “Chidambaram’s arrest was necessary but the ED cannot be directed to arrest him on a particular date.”

The former minister was arrested by the CBI in the INX Media case on Aug 21 and sent to the CBI custody for interrogation. Last week, a CBI court had sent Chidambaram to judicial custody in Tihar jail till September 19. Chidambaram is facing probe in cases registered by the CBI and the ED pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union Finance Minister.

–India Legal Bureau

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