Chidambaram plea: Not accustomed to jail food, lost 4 kgs

New Delhi (IANS) Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram,74, in his bail plea filed before the Supreme Court has said that his health is deteriorating and he has lost 4 kgs as he is not accustomed to the food that is being provided inside the jail.

Currently in judicial custody in Tihar Jail, Chidambaram's plea said: "His health is frail. He has been kept in a cell and given food that he is not accustomed to. He has already lost 4 kgs weight in the period of judicial custody."

"Chidambaram has been incarcerated for 42 days including the maximum permissible period of 15 days of CBI custody remand, and therefore, his continuing incarceration is in the form of punishment as his custody can neither be taken nor is required for the purpose of an investigation," the bail plea said.

Three days after the Delhi High Court dismissed his bail plea, P. Chidambaram on Thursday approached the Supreme Court seeking an early hearing of his bail plea in the INX media case.

Chidambaram's counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal moved the plea before a bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana.

Justice Ramana said the listing of the former Minister's plea would be decided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and forwarded it to him for consideration.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Chidambaram on August 21.

Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the INX Media case by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora.

The Enforcement Directorate has also filed a money laundering case against Chidambaram.

Seeking bail, Chidambaram challenged the Delhi High Court order and said that the HC judge had incorrectly held that the instant case was an economic offense. The former Minister stated: "The instant case is in fact not an economic offense in so far as the Respondent (CBI) is concerned in as much as there is no loss to the public exchequer in this case.

"No public funds were involved in this case and it also is not a case of bank fraud or taking money out of the country or defrauding depositors or stealing money from a company. On the contrary, Rs 305 crore has come into INX Media (i.e. the investee company) as FDI, well within the approval percentage of 46.216 per cent of equity," read the plea.

Chidambaram also said that the Delhi High Court has declined bail despite categorically holding that he is not a flight risk and would be available for facing trial.

His counsel told the court that the former Minister is a law-abiding citizen, Rajya Sabha Member, who has a reputation to sustain in the society and there is no possibility that he will flee from justice.

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