The Congress on Wednesday described the Central Bureau of Investigation’s decision to take former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram into custody as a “diversionary tactic”. The investigating agency arrested the businessman at the Chennai airport on Wednesday morning for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act and not cooperating in the INX Media case.
The Congress claimed the arrest was motivated by “vendetta”.
Karti Chidambaram was questioned at the airport lounge, and was taken to Delhi to be produced in court. Both he and his father have repeatedly claimed no wrongdoing in the case.
“The Congress will not be deterred by the unleashing of vendetta against P Chidambaram and his family,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. “We will continue to bring out the truth.”
Surjewala claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party government was using Karti Chidambaram’s arrest to “hide scams and colossal corruption that is being exposed on a daily basis, be it NiMo+Choksi, DD Jewellers and Rotomac”.
The BJP’s Sambit Patra responded saying, “No one should consider oneself above the law of the country,” ANI reported. “If corrupt are being jailed and the law is taking its course, I see no reason why any political party should cry vendetta.”
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Karti Chidambaram was arrested after “months of investigation and gathering of incriminating evidence”, the Hindustan Times reported.
In May 2017, the ED had filed a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, which includes Indrani and Peter Mukerjea. Chidambaram’s company had allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from the company – which got a Foreign Exchange Promotion Board clearance for Rs 4 crore, but had 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.
The money was reportedly paid to Karti Chidambaram in return for help getting out of the situation without facing any punitive action, the ED told the court.
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.