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INX Media case: Chidambaram’s custody extended till December 11; SC hearing on bail plea on

CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar extended the judicial custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram, who is an accused in the INX media scam, till December 11. Senior Advocate Dhyan Krishnan appeared for Chidambaram.

Chidambaram was produced in the Rouse Avenue Court today after his judicial custody ended today. The order was passed on November 13. NK Matta, appearing for Enforcement Directorate, moved the application for extension of judicial custody.

Meanwhile Chidambaram’s bail application was heard in the Supreme Court today. Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and AM Singhvi represented him.

Singhvi requested the court to restrain the prosecution from going into the merits of the case as this was a preliminary bail matter only.

Sibal pointed out that the triple test for bail was in Chidambaram’s favour. The test is (i) flight risk; (ii) tampering of evidence; and (iii) influencing the witness.

It was argued that if the objective of the arrest was to confront the witnesses, why was it not done while almost 100 days have lapsed.

Deprivation of liberty is a punishment and there is no ground of punishment without a trial which has not taken place, Singhvi told the court. The gravity of offence cannot be the sole ground of detaining a person without trial.

It was also argued that the main accused in the case are out on bail while only Chidambaram is languishing in jail.

Singhvi quoted Niranjan Singh case where the court specifically said evidence and merits cannot be entertained at bail stage.

The Supreme Court will continue to hear the case tomorrow morning.

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