Updated: March 1, 2018 9:20 pm
While announcing a 5-day remand for Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media case on Thursday, the Sessions Court of special judge Sunil Rana said the custody of the accused was required for completion of the probe, which was at a very crucial stage. The court acknowledged the CBI’s claim that there was prima facie evidence showing Karti’s involvement in alleged irregularities in the clearance that Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave to INX Media for receiving overseas funds in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister.
After Karti’s one-day custody ended on Thursday following his arrest from Chennai airport, the CBI, through its counsel Tushar Mehta, sought a further 14-day remand for the businessman. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Karti’s counsel, however, argued that there was no justification for custodial interrogation as CBI had not issued summons to his client. The court contended that Karti’s custody was necessary to confront him with documents and co-accused in an attempt to unearth the larger conspiracy in the case.
The CBI maintained that three mobile phones have been recovered from him which needed to be examined. The CBI argued that Karti has to be confronted with the statement of various witnesses, including former RBI governor D Subba Rao, who had then headed a committee which dealt with the FIPB issue of INX Media before the approval was granted.
“I am of the view that the police custody of accused Karti Chidambaram is necessary to confront the accused with documents, co-accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy and role of other accused persons involved in the case. Hence, it would be appropriate to grant further custody to CBI. Accordingly, accused Karti Chidambaram is remanded to five-day police custody,” the judge said.
The court said it is clear that the presence of the accused was actually needed in order to serve some important and specific purposes connected with the completion of the probe. “It is true that a general statement by the officer applying for the remand that the accused may be able to give further information should not be accepted. However, in a case where nothing could be extracted during the remand, granting of further police custody remand is necessary,” judge said.
The court directed that Karti be produced before the court on March 6 and asked the investigating officer to get him medically examined every 24 hours during the custody.
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