No, thanks: P Chidambaram to offer of seat in court

CBI personnel were all over the place and occupied every inch of space in the court room along with lawyers, journalists and visitors.

Published: 22nd August 2019 07:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2019 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram is being taken to court by the Central Bureau of Investigation CBI officials in the INX Media money laundering case in New Delhi.

Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram is being taken to court by the Central Bureau of Investigation CBI officials in the INX Media money laundering case in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Former Union minister P Chidambaram appeared before the special CBI court with a smiling face and looked calm and composed despite the glare surrounding him. As Chidambaram entered the packed court amid tight security, he greeted lawyers with a Namaste, folding both his hands and even appeared to be smiling. Upon entering the courtroom, he struck conversation with his lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi. 

During one and a half hour argument, Sibal told the judge that when a CBI team reached Chidambaram’s residence last night, he requested the officers to let him rest at night as he hadn’t slept the previous night since he was busy in drafting his petition to the Supreme Court and he could be arrested him in the morning. But, Sibal informed the court, that no heed was paid to the request.

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Clad in his trademark white shirt and veshti, Chidambaram also got the unprecedented opportunity to speak before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar for a short time. The Congress leader asserted that he was never questioned by the CBI on anything else barring account details of his and his son Karti’s and that no other question was put to him. This, the former finance minister said, can be crosschecked from the transcripts of his interrogation.      

During the hearing, Chidambaram refused to sit throughout the court proceedings. He kept standing throughout despite requests to him from the judge and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to sit. “No, no. It is okay. I will stand,” Chidambaram said to repeated pleas to sit.

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The Solicitor General, who sought five days custody on behalf of the CBI, told the judge that Chidambaram was evasive and non-cooperative with his investigators. Mehta informed the court that the probe agency was not extorting confession but it has the right to reach the root of the case. “It is a serious case involving intelligent people, and we will fail in our duty if we don’t get to the root of the case,” the second senior-most government law officer asserted.

Chair brought but PC refused it

A chair was brought but the Congress veteran refused to sit as he chose to stand in the accused box with a smile on his face during entire proceedings in the special CBI court.

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