Chidambaram cites cold weather to seek bail

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, seeking bail in the INX Media case, submitted in the Supreme Court on Monday that the onset of winter could affect his health adversely.

“It is submitted that with the onset of cold weather, the petitioner’s (Chidambaram) health is likely to become more vulnerable,” the senior Congress leader said in his plea.

He cited his old age and reiterated fragile health conditions. “He is under treatment and medication for several years for ailments, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and Vitamin D deficiency. While in the judicial custody, he had suffered two bouts of illness and was put on antibiotics for five and seven days”, he said in his plea in the apex court.

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Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before newly appointed Chief Justice S.A. Bobde. The plea contended that during the custody, he had suffered acute and persistent abdomen pain and had to be taken to AIIMS and RML Hospital for consultation, diagnosis and tests on various occasions. He is currently on steroids, and has lost 5 kgs.

After more than two years of investigation and custodial interrogation of the Congress leader, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had failed to identify even a single shell company owned or controlled by him or any ‘undisclosed foreign bank account’ or any ‘benami property’ in his name, it said.

“Not one document has been connected to him. Not one property or bank account has been connected to him. He has not been confronted with any witness. No one has said a word against him. There is no payment to him. Thus, if anyone deserves immediate bail, it is the petitioner,” said the plea.

The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected Chidambaram’s bail application in the ED case relating to INX-Media.

A single-judge Bench of the high court, presided by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, turning down the plea for relief observed that the allegations against the veteran politician were “serious” in nature and that the case was not fit for granting bail.

The ED, probing the money laundering case, had arrested Chidambaram last month. He is under the judicial custody in Tihar Jail.

Opposing the bail plea, the agency asserted that Chidambaram used the high office of the country “for his personal gains.”

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