Congress leader P Chidambaram was involved in corrupt practices during his term as union finance minister and received bribes worth crores, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told the Delhi High Court on Thursday.
“Chidambaram was involved in corrupt practices and received money in crores,” Mehta told the single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait hearing Chidambaram’s plea seeking bail and challenging judicial custody order given by a trial court in the INX Media case.
Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, on the other hand, asked the court for an urgent hearing on the bail plea. He also requested the court to allow providing Chidambaram home-made food and extra time for family visits in Tihar prison.
However, the bench said that “this case will take some time” and also declined the request for home-made food and extra time for family visits.
The bench asked Sibal why he approached the Delhi High Court challenging the judicial custody so late.
“Judicial custody was granted on September 5. You had approached the Supreme Court earlier. Why did you not come to the High Court challenging the order earlier,” Justice Kait said.
The court issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking its response on the Chidambaram’s plea and asked them to file a status report in the bail plea within 7 days.
Next hearing on the matter was slated for September 23.
Chidambaram’s lawyers have also withdrawn their second plea challenging his judicial custody.
The Congress leader was arrested by CBI in the INX Media case on Aug 21 and sent to CBI custody for interrogation. Last week, a CBI court 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.