New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS): Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim bail in the INX Media case on health grounds. The matter was mentioned before a division bench presided by Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar who kept it for hearing on Thursday.
The veteran Congressman lost 7.5 kg – from 73.5 kg to 66 kg – since his arrest on August 21, and was taken to the hospital five-times while in custody. He was admitted to hospital for the first time on October 7. He was again taken to hospital on October 23, October 25, October 26 and October 28.
In his interim bail plea filed by Advocate Arshdeep Singh and Akshat Gupta, Chidambaram said that after his condition deteriorated and admitted to hospitals here, his medical reports were forwarded by his family to his regular doctor namely Doctor D. Nageshwar Reddy in Hyderabad who, after reviewing the medical reports, has said that the inflammation in former minister’s intestines was due to increase in Crohns disease.
“The applicant’s (Chidambaram) regular doctor has further indicated that he needs immediate medical attention in a sterile environment including a change of diet to a bland and sterile one,” the former minister said in his interim bail application.
Chidambaram, 74, is suffering from Crohn’s disease since 2017, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
His counsel also told the court that Chidambaram is under treatment and medication for several years for ailments, including coronary artery disease, hypertension since 17 years for which he has been taking regular medication. He is also suffering from irritable bowel disease since 2014 and Vitamin D deficiency since 2014 for which he has been taking supplements regularly.
Asserting that Chidambaram needs to be placed in a sterile environment, defence counsel also told the court that his client is currently on a liquid diet and considering his age and medical condition, there is a high likelihood of his condition further deteriorating unless he is treated by his regular doctor.
“It is known that steroids lower immunity and as such, in the absence of adequate precautions, the applicant (Chidambaram) is likely to be more susceptible to contracting other infections and diseases. It is submitted that with the onset of cold weather, the applicant’s health is more vulnerable,” the counsel said.
The counsel also said that he will abide by any direction or conditions imposed by the court while considering his interim bail.
Chidambaram is in judicial custody till November 13 following his arrest under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act on October 16 by Enforcement Directorate.
He is being probed for his alleged involvement in irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media during his term as the Union Finance Minister.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested the former minister on August 21 in INX media corruption case. However, he succeeded in getting bail from the Supreme Court on October 22.