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Chidambaram arrested by ED after questioning at Tihar Jail

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New Delhi: 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. ED sleuths reached Tihar Jail on Wednesday (October 16) 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. A court had on Tuesday (October 15) allowed three ED officials to interrogate Chidambaram in the INX media money laundering case.

The investigating team followed procedure after a court here on Tuesday had allowed the agency to interrogate the senior Congress leader, lodged in the jail in the CBI case, and arrest him, if necessary, in this case, they said.

A three-member team of investigators of the central agency who arrived at the prison at 8:15 am remained in the premises for about two hours during which they briefly questioned 74-year-old Chidambaram after which he was placed under arrest. The arrest has been made under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and his statement was also recorded under this same provision, they said. The ED subsequently sought 14-day custodial interrogation of the former Union minister from a court here.

Sources indicated that Chidambaram will now be put through some fresh evidence, obtained from offshore jurisdictions, and confronted with the statement of other accused in the case once his full-time questioning begins, after the grant of custody.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on Chidambaram’s bail application in the INX Media corruption case filed by CBI after solicitor-general Tushar Mehta said he was preoccupied with another case before a constitution bench. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the government was deliberately delaying proceedings.

However, Mehta told the bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi that “no prejudice” would be caused to Chidambaram if the matter was posted for Friday as the ED had arrested him.

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