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ED Arrests Former FM Chidambaram

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, a day after a Delhi court allowed the agency to take him into custody.

The agency, which accuses him of money laundering in the same case, had moved two applications yesterday — to formally arrest Mr Chidambaram and seek his custody.

The court gave two options to the agency: To question Mr Chidambaram at the court premises for half an hour and then move application for custody, and sending him to Tihar jail for now and arresting him from there.

Initially, the agency wanted to arrest him as soon as possible. They even suggested that Mr Chidambaram an be interrogated at the Rouse Avenue court premises and then arrested but Judge intervened saying “dignity of the person should be considered”.

ED sleuths reached Tihar Jail on Wednesday to grill the 74-year-old Congress leader who has been in prison since September 5 after the CBI finished questioning him in the case. He was first taken into custody on August 21.

Seeking Chidambaram’s arrest, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED had told Special CBI judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar that there is a finding by the Supreme Court that custodial interrogation of Chidambaram is necessary.

Kuhar allowed the ED to go to Tihar Jail and question Chidambaram and arrest him, if required. “It’s not of the dignity of this person that you question and arrest him here in public view,” the court said.

Chidambaram was remanded to judicial custody till October 17 in the INX Media corruption case filed by the CBI. The special court on October 3 extended the judicial custody of Chidambaram till October 17 in the case filed by the CBI.

The CBI had registered a FIR for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX media in May 2017 for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering cases against him.

Chidambaram’s bail plea against the arrest by the CBI was heard in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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