New Delhi, Sep 2 Former Finance minister P. Chidambaram may stay in CBI custody for another three days if the trial court on Monday rejects his bail plea in the INX Media case.
Chidambaram has spent 11 days in CBI custody since his arrest on August 21. His custody ends today and he will be produced before the trial court. His lawyers feared that rejection of his bail plea by the trial court left him vulnerable to being sent off to Tihar Jail.
Chidambaram lawyers made fervent pleas in the Supreme Court on Monday urging it not pass an adverse order, which may send him to Tihar jail. The top court was hearing a petition filed by Chidambaram against his CBI custody.
Pleading his case before a bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi, Chidambaram’s counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal said: “I am begging of you. Please don’t do this. Protect me till you hear this case. He shouldn’t be sent to Tihar.”
The bench asked him to apply for bail before the trial court. Sibal insisted that the trial court would definitely reject his plea for any relief and asked the court to place Chidambaram under house arrest. The prosecution objected to the request.
“We absolutely oppose this house arrest proposal, this procedure is not known to law, and it will set a wrong precedent,” said Additional Solicitor General K.M. Natrajan, who is representing Centre.
The bench also said the petitioner cannot move the top court jumping the jurisdictions of the trial court and high court to seek relief on his custody.
It refused to grant Chidambaram interim protection from arrest, and instead asked him to seek interim bail from the trial court. If the trial court rejects the bail plea, his CBI custody can be extended for three days, till the next date of hearing.