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Home » ED can quiz P Chidambaram in jail, arrest him if required, says court | India News

ED can quiz P Chidambaram in jail, arrest him if required, says court | India News

NEW DELHI: A special court on Tuesday granted permission to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to visit Tihar Jail and interrogate former Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case. Depending on the outcome of its interrogation, the agency can take a call on arresting him, the court said.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said the ED could arrest someone accused of money laundering without the court’s intervention if it had sufficient evidence. In the event of the accused already being in custody in some other case, permission would be required for interrogation, he clarified. “Such interrogation with the permission of the court may result in the arrest of the accused in the case, if circumstances so justify,” he said.
Representing the agency, solicitor general Tushar Mehta had sought the special court’s permission to first arrest the politician and then take him into custody for interrogation. Mehta argued that the charge of money laundering against Chidambaram was a separate and independent offence. The solicitor general and special prosecutors NK Matta and Amit Mahajan moved a couple of applications in this regard.
Special judge Kuhar replied that the ED could not interrogate Chidambaram unless granted permission as he was in judicial custody. He said the agency could, however, seek permission to interrogate the accused and, if there were enough grounds for arrest under the relevant laws, take him into custody.
The court decided to treat the application for arrest as one for permission to interrogate the former Union minister at Tihar, where he has been lodged since September 5 in the INX Media corruption case that is being investigated by CBI. The application seeking Chidambaram’s remand was not considered because the court deemed it “premature”.
After the court allowed ED to interrogate Chidambaram, Mehta sought permission for the agency to carry out interrogation in court. The special judge said the agency should visit Tihar to question him since the atmosphere in the court premises wasn’t “conducive” to interrogation of the accused. “The jail superintendent shall make the necessary arrangements, (providing) a secured place for interrogation,” Kuhar said.

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