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Chidambaram's Custodial Interrogation Must in INX Media Case as he Remained 'Evasive': CBI to Delhi HC

Submitting its response in the HC on Tuesday, CBI maintained that the agency requires to arrest and interrogate Chidambaram as the senior Congress leader was "evasive" during his earlier questioning.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 3, 2018, 6:07 PM IST
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Chidambaram's Custodial Interrogation Must in INX Media Case as he Remained 'Evasive': CBI to Delhi HC
Former finance minister P Chidambaram gestures at the media at a press conference. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the Delhi High Court that custodial interrogation of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is a must to ascertain truth behind the conspiracy in the INX Media Case.

Submitting its response in the HC on Tuesday, CBI maintained that the agency requires to arrest and interrogate Chidambaram because “during the investigation conducted so far, a strong prima facie case has emerged showing involvement of the petitioner in the aforesaid offences and a larger conspiracy is unfolding”.

CBI added that although Chidambaram appeared for questioning before the investigators under the HC orders, the senior Congress leader was evasive and did not cooperate.

“In spite of there being cogent and convincing material on record, based upon which the questions were put to the petitioner, the petitioner chose to remain evasive and did not cooperate with the investigating agency,” stated the CBI affidavit.

The agency further stated: “The material collected so far and the intensity and the gravity of the offence which is unfolding, requires custodial interrogation of the petitioner which is quantitatively different. The investigating agency has reached a bona fide conclusion that in absence of custodial interrogation it will not be possible to reach the truth of the allegations as the petitioner has chosen to be evasive and non-cooperative.”

Requesting the HC to dismiss Chidambaram’s pre-arrest bail petition, CBI also contended that it was willing to show to the court materials collected so far and that the court should not protect Chidambaram from arrest since it would “affect the investigation adversely and would not be in the interest of justice.”

The agency pointed out that Chidambaram has been selective in choosing his forum and that this cannot be permitted.

“In the offence with regard to Aircel-Maxis Case where the Enforcement Directorate is investigating under ECIR/05/DZ/2012 under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Petitioner has chosen to move the Special Court Delhi and in the present case has chosen to directly approach this Hon'ble Court.” CBI urged the HC to dismiss the former union minister’s anticipatory bail petition.

The reply by the agency has come hours after the HC extended the protection from arrest for Chidambaram till August 1. CBI had then sought time to file its response.

CBI is investigating into the alleged role of Chidambaram, then Finance Minister, in granting FIPB clearance to INX Media at the instance of his son Karti. The agency has levelled charges of corruption in the case.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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