P Chidambaram Arrested By the CBI
NEW DELHI: Former Union minister P Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation this evening after high drama outside his South Delhi home, complete with slogan-shouting supporters, police and unprecedented visuals of investigators scaling walls and roof to gain access inside. He has been taken to the CBI office for questioning.
The race started earlier this evening as the senior leader — sought by investigative agencies for nearly 24 hours in connection with a corruption case — appeared at the Congress headquarters.
In his short address to the media, Mr Chidambaram pointed out that he has not been named an accused in the case. But he said he has faith in the law “even if it is applied by an unequal hand” by the investigative agencies.
“Respect for the law can mean only one thing — await (the Supreme Court’s) decision on Friday… Until Friday, let’s hope the lamp of liberty will shine bright,” he said in what was seen as a message to the investigative agencies. Friday is when the Supreme Court will hear his request for anticipatory bail.
“I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law… I was pursuing the law,” said the 73-year-old, who was not seen in public since the Delhi High court refused to protect him from arrest on Tuesday. “I was working alongside my lawyers the whole of last night… and the whole day,” he explained.
Minutes later, Mr Chidambaram left, accompanied by party colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi. As they reached, the area outside the former minister’s Jor Bagh house descended into chaos.
Amid slogan-shouting supporters and Delhi Police who arrived to keep the peace, the CBI personnel were seen scaling the walls and entering the compound in full view of television cameras. They, however, managed to gain admission into the house after nearly an hour.
Mr Chidambaram has been accused of facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds into a television company, INX Media, in 2007 on the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for this. At the time, he was the country’s finance minister in the UPA government. Mr Chidambaram and his son were named by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who owned INX Media at the time and are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora.
Earlier —– he was untraceable
NEW DELHI: Former union minister P Chidambaram, with investigating agencies on his trail, will not get any legal reprieve today with the Supreme Court refusing an urgent hearing on his request for anticipatory bail. The court will hear the petition on 23 August.
Earlier, as CBI and ED continued to wait for P Chidambaram to show up, sources have told India Today TV that soon after the Delhi High Court rejected his bail plea, the Congress leader dropped his driver and clerk midway and left for an unknown location in order not to be tracked through his driver and clerk. His mobile phones were switched off immediately after he stepped out of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
When the news of this huge setback reached Chidambaram, he was in the Supreme Court along with some junior lawyers attending his routine work.
CBI and ED teams visited all known locations associated with Chidambaram but he was nowhere to be found. Over a dozen locations in Delhi-NCR have been searched by the agencies.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram suffered a major setback on 20 August as the Delhi High Court dismissed his anticipatory bail in the INX Media scam case, paving way for the investigating agencies CBI and ED to arrest him immediately.
Hours after the rejection of Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail application, a team of CBI reached his the Jor Bagh residence around 6.45 pm only to find he was not home.
Moments after the CBI team left the residence of the senior Congress leader, a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials reached his residence to arrest him.
Meanwhile, P Chidambaram’s lawyer Arshdeep Singh Khurana wrote to CBI after the agency put up a notice outside Chidambaram’s residence:
The lawyer demanded to know under what provisions of law the court can ask Chidambaram to appear before the court within 2 hours.
The lawyer wrote, “I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within 2 hours. Furthermore, my client is exercising the rights available to him in law & had approached the Supreme Court on August 20 seeking urgent reliefs in respect of the order dismissing his anticipatory bail (in INX media case).
“He has been permitted by SC to mention the urgent Special Leave Petition against the order before Court at 10:30 am today. I, therefore, request you not to take any coercive action against my client till then & await the hearing at 10:30 am.”
Click HERE to read the judgment by the Delhi High Court.