Former finance minister P Chidambaram, who has been ordered to stay in Tihar jail till October 17, on Thursday asked a Delhi Court to order prison authorities to let him get home-cooked food. The 74-year-old Congress leader moved a formal request soon after Special CBI judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation plea to remand him in judicial custody for two weeks.
The Congress leader, who has also petitioned the Supreme Court for bail, has submitted that he had already lost 4 kgs as he is not accustomed to the food provided inside the jail.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the Central Bureau of Investigation that arrested Chidambaram in the INX Media case, told the court that the CBI did not have any objection to Chidambaram getting home-cooked food.
But the Tihar jail authorities have opposed the request, arguing that the jail manual did not provide from getting food from home. Chidambaram had referred to the jail food in his bail petition pending before the Supreme Court too.
“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 investigation,” Chidambaram said in his bail request.
The Delhi High Court had this week rejected Chidambaram’s bail application, prompting the former minister to head to the Supreme Court for relief. Chidambaram’s counsel and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal asked a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana to grant an early hearing since the top court was going to be closed for Dussehra all of next week.
The judge has redirected Chidambaram to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who Justice Ramana said, would take a call if the Congress leader should get an urgent hearing.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Chidambaram on August 21 in the INX Media case. He has been in prison since September 5 after his custodial interrogation by the CBI ended.
Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the INX Media case by INX Media group co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in a jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.