In what comes as a major setback to former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, a Delhi court on Thursday sent him to Tihar jail in the INX Media corruption case.
Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sent Chidambaram to 14-days judicial custody till September 19.
"Having considered all facts and circumstances of the case, the nature of offences, stage of investigation, the accused is remanded to judicial custody," the judge said.
Considering that he has Z-security, the court directed Chidambaram be kept in a separate cell in the jail. The court also allowed the 73-year-old leader to carry his medicines to jail.
According to officials, Chidambaram is likely to be lodged at the Tihar prison's Jail No. 7, which usually houses those accused in Enforcement Directorate cases.
Soon after the court ruling, the Congress strongman said: “Those with the power of truth have the strength to fight any injustice”.
Earlier, Chidambaram was produced before a the court after expiry of his 2-day CBI custody in the case.
His 15-day CBI custody, ordered by the special court in five spells, which started after his arrest on August 21 night, also ended on Thursday.
Thursday's hearing in the case saw Chidambaram's counsel making a point for sending him to ED custody to prevent the Congress leader's judicial custody. "Either I surrender and ED takes me into custody... I should not be sent to judicial custody," Chidambaram's counsel Kapil Sibal argued in court.
"There is nothing found against me. There is no charge-sheet. They say I am a powerful and influential witness, but they have no evidence. There is no evidence of tampering of evidence," Sibal submitted in the court. CBI had earlier argued that Chidambaram might tamper with evidence if he was let go.
He was brought to the special court hours after he withdrew his petition challenging the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him following which he was sent to the CBI custody.
He was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, who on Tuesday sent him to CBI custody till today, by taking note of the the Supreme Court's order which had said that Chidambaram would be in the CBI custody till September 5.
The apex court Thursday also decided his appeal against the Delhi High Court's August 20 order in the money laundering case lodged by ED and rejected his challenge to denial of anticipatory bail.
Hours after the apex court order, another special court granted him and his son Karti anticipatory bail in the Aircel Maxis cases.
(With PTI inputs)