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Former Union Minister P Chidambaram in CBI custody until Monday

August 23, 2019

Former union minister for finance and home and senior Congress party leader P Chidambaram was sent to the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation for questioning until Monday. The CBI had asked for five days but got one day less. The special court said that the custody was necessary. "Considering all the facts, custody justified", said the court dismissing the arguments put forth by Mr Chidambaram and a special submission by the former minister.

The CBI has claimed that he is not being cooperative. The government's lawyer Tushar Mehta said that the Delhi High Court had rejected the former minister's pre-arrest bail. Serious offence of money laundering of such great magnitude won't be unearthed unless custodial interrogation is given, the CBI argued.

Appearing for Mr Chidambaram, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal argued that the former minister was summoned for questioning only on one occasion and he complied.

How can he be accused of non-cooperation. This case is completely based on a case diary and a statement of another accused. - P Chidambaram's lawyers

In a special submission, Mr Chidambaram told the court that he did not leave any question unanswered when he was summoned by the agency on 6 June 2018. He asked the judge to see the transcript of question-answer session, which is a part of the case diary. He also said that he was not a flight risk.

Mr Chidambaram's wife Nalini and son Karti were present in court. The court said that the 73-year-old will undergo medical examination every 48 hours. He would also be allowed to meet his family members and lawyers daily for half-an-hour.

Karti Chidambaram told the media the government had no case. "My father's arrest is an attempt to silence the most vocal critic of the government".

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