Teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate reached the Delhi residence of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and arrested him on Wednesday night in connection with the INX media case. This came immediately after the Congress leader addressed a press conference from the party’s headquarters in New Delhi.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday had rejected the leader’s anticipatory bail plea, after which he immediately moved the Supreme Court. The top court, however, listed his appeal for Friday.
Here are the top updates:
10.50 pm: The police have removed two people who jumped onto the car in which P Chidambaram was being taken away, ANI reports.
10.45 pm: Asked who is doing all this, Karti Chidambaram tells ANI: “Yes, of course, all of this is being done by BJP. Who else? You think Donald Trump? No.”
10.24 pm: Chidambaram will be produced in court on Thursday morning, reports India Today.
10.02 pm: “My father has been fully compliant with the law,” Times Now quotes Karti Chidambaram as saying. He says the arrest has been done to divert attention from “other important issues” and that agencies must file a chargesheet. “We will follow judicial procedure.”
10 pm: Chidambaram has reached the CBI headquarters, reports ANI.
9.46 pm: Chidambaram has been arrested, reports NDTV.
9.45 pm: P Chidambaram is being taken to the CBI headquarters, reports NDTV. Congress supporters are blocking the vehicle he is in from leaving his home.
9.35 pm: The leader’s son Karti Chidambaram tweets that this is a “political witch hunt”. He is also accused in both the INX media and Aircel-Maxis cases. “The drama and spectacle being enacted by the agencies is to simply sensationalise and satisfy the voyeuristic pleasure of some,” he says.
9.30 pm: According to PTI, the CBI team comprises around 30 officials.
9.10 pm: An Enforcement Directorate team also reaches the house.
9 pm: A CBI official jumps over the wall of the residence, according to Hindustan Times. The remaining officials follow.
8.55 pm: A Central Bureau of Investigation team arrives at P Chidamabaram’s residence in Jor Bagh, Delhi.
8.35 pm: Chidambaram leaves the Congress headquarters, according to reports.
8.23 pm: “I will walk with a clear conscience and my head held high,” he says.
8.21 pm: He says an impression has been created that a grave offence was committed. “ “These are lies spread by pathological liars When I was summoned for questioning, I naturally sought protection.”
He claims he was not hiding from investigative agencies. “I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law, on the contrary, I was seeking protection of law. My lawyers tell that cases will be listed on Friday. I bow down to orders of Supreme Court. I respect the law even if it is applied with an unequal hand by the investigating agencies.”
8.19 pm: “In INX Media case, I’ve not been accused of any offence nor any one else including any member of my family. There is no charge sheet filed by either ED or CBI before a competent court.”
8.18 pm: “In last 24 hours much has happened, that has caused concern to some and confusion to many,” he says. “I believe that the foundation of a democracy is liberty, most precious article of the constitution is Article 21 that guarantees life and liberty. If I’m asked to choose between life and liberty, I will choose liberty.”
8.15 pm: P Chidambaram begins addressing the media at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi.
Chidambaram has been incommunicado for the last 24 hours, after the Enforcement Directorate issued a lookout notice against him. On Wednesday morning, the Central Bureau of Investigation issued a Look Out Circular against the former minister to prevent him from leaving the country.
8.05 pm: Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party lashed out at Chidambaram. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao claimed that Chidambaram was behaving like fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, IANS reported.
“Gandhi family gave free hand to Chidambaram to go ahead in the INX Media case,” Rao said. “Chidambaram is behaving like fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya by not cooperating with the central agencies. No one will be spared.”
8 pm: In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea. Karti Chidambaram’s company allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from INX Media for helping the company escape punitive action for taking Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007 despite having clearance from the Foreign Exchange Promotion Board for only Rs 4 crore.
Karti Chidambaram has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the INX Media case.
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