PC's old age plea did not save him from Tihar
The week was quite tumultuous for former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram.
On Monday, after a high-pitch legal drama, the Supreme Court refused him interim protection, asked him to seek interim bail from the trial court and ordered that he be not sent to Tihar. The apex court also extended his CBI custody till Thursday.
Today, a trial court judge put an end to all by ordering that Chidambaram be sent to Tihar jail.
Chidambaram's lawyers had begged against any adverse order before the Supreme Court on Monday in the INX Media case, registered by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI).
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Chidambaram's lawyers argued in different courts to protect him from being sent to Tihar jail, citing his age.
On Thursday morning, the apex court declined anticipatory bail to Chidambaram in the matter being probed by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), and later the Congress leader withdrew the petition against the CBI custody.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Chidambaram pleaded before an apex court Bench, headed by Justice R Banumathi, "I am begging of you. Please don't do this. Protect me till you hear this case. He shouldn't be sent to Tihar". He pleaded this citing his client's age of 74.
During the hearing, a high-decibel argument broke out between the legal teams of Chidambaram and the CBI.
The court was hearing Chidambaram's plea challenging non-bailable warrant (NBW) and remand orders of the trial court in the INX Media case. Sibal had pleaded not to make his plea against NBW and custody, infructuous.
Chidambaram's lawyers argued hard and cited several legal citations. Sibal didn't refrain from expressing his fear that the trial court judge might not hold back from sending Chidambaram to Tihar jail. "Put him under house arrest or give an interim bail", Sibal pleaded.
The apex court didn't accede to his house arrest plea. Sibal then pressed for extension of the interim protection for three days. The court queried, "Why should you skip the jurisdiction of the trial court and the high court, and move the Supreme Court."
Additional Solicitor General K.M. Natarajan, appearing for the CBI, opposed this line of argument. "This application is not maintainable, this procedure is not known to the law, and it will set a wrong precedent", Natarajan submitted.
Chidambaram's lawyers urged the judge to think over again the after effects of her adverse order (to send him to Tihar jail). Sibal said the investigating agencies couldn't humiliate people in this manner.
The lawyers were arguing at extremely high pitch, and Justice Banumathi didn't seem to be comfortable with that. In fact, she was interrupted several times by Chidambaram's legal team while pronouncing the order.IANS