Former Union Minister P Chidambaram spent the night at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters after a dramatic arrest late on Wednesday from his house in south Delhi by officials who even climbed a wall in their attempts to get to him.
Mr Chidambaram was put up in “Lock-up suite 3” of the CBI building, which was inaugurated in 2011 in his presence; as Home Minister of the Congress-led government at the time, he was special guest and, along with then prime minister Manmohan Singh, was taken on a tour of the building and its lock-up facilities.
Sources say his questioning will start today, and later in the day, the CBI will take him to court and maximum custody – 14 days – for his interrogation.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment into a television company, INX Media, in 2007, when he was the Finance Minister, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks.
Mr Chidambaram and his son were named by INX co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora. Mr Chidambaram has denied the allegations, saying the case is a political witch-hunt.
Not seen as he was hunted by CBI and Enforcement directorate officers since Tuesday evening, Mr Chidambaram was arrested 90 minutes after he made a surprise appearance at a Congress press conference. All day, his lawyers and Congress colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi had tried without luck to get the Supreme Court to urgently hear his petition for interim protection from arrest. The court decided to take up the petition on Friday.