The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday produced former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram at a CBI court in New Delhi after arresting him earlier in the day for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The agency arrested him for not cooperating in its investigation into the INX Media case.
Karti Chidambaram was arrested at Chennai airport after returning from the United Kingdom. He was then questioned at the airport lounge, and taken to Delhi.
Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media case, took to Twitter to question why the agency had not produced Karti Chidambaram in the court earlier. “Sitting in a CBI-designated court at Patiala House Courts Complex since 2 pm to oppose Karti Chidambaram’s remand, but the CBI has not produced him yet,” Singhvi said. “Hope they are not waiting for a late evening hearing. Why the delay? They landed from Chennai at 12 pm. No cause for this except to go to duty magistrate post 4.30 pm.”
Meanwhile,Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, who was arrested in New Delhi on February 16 in connection with the case, filed a bail plea on Wednesday, ANI reported.
Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala described the arrest as political vendetta. “The Congress will not be deterred by the vendetta unleashed against P Chidambaram and his family,” he said. “We will continue to bring out the truth.”
P Chidambaram and his son have repeatedly claimed no wrongdoing in the case.
In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate had filed a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, which include Indrani and Peter Mukerjea. His company had allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from the INX Media, which allegedly got a clearance from the Foreign Exchange Promotion Board for Rs 4 crore but actually received Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007. P Chidambaram was the finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at that time.
Karti Chidambaram allegedly received the money in return for help to get out of the situation without facing any punitive action, the Enforcement Directorate had alleged.
On February 24, P Chidambaram had moved the Supreme Court seeking protection of his fundamental rights in connection with the Aircel-Maxis and INX media case. The Congress leader, who is also a senior advocate, asked the top court to order the investigating agencies to stop their “illegal” inquiries in the cases as they amounted to harassment of his family and him.