Congress leader P Chidambaram’s family on Tuesday accused the media of reporting “wild, unverified and unsubstantiated allegations” against the former Union finance minister.
This came on a day the Supreme Court granted Chidambaram interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Department till Wednesday in connection with the INX Media money laundering case. The Congress leader is in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation at present. Both the investigating agencies are conducting inquiries in the case.
“While we understand that the motive of the government [is] to demonise and humiliate Shri P Chidambaram, we are deeply saddened that the media is unable to uphold liberty against calumny,” the family said in a statement. “One of the fundamental principles of liberty is: Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”
The minister’s family said it was confident truth would prevail, and claimed that his contribution cannot be “wiped out by a campaign of vilification”. “We challenge the government to produce a shred of evidence in support of one undisclosed bank account, one undisclosed property or one shell company anywhere in the world,” they added.
The family also appealed to the media to exercise restraint, uphold dignity and reminded that the rule of law would protect everyone.
The CBI has alleged that there were irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s foreign direct investment clearance to INX Media in 2007, when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister. According to the CBI, the company of the Congress leader’s son, Karti Chidambaram, allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from INX Media for helping it escape punitive action for taking Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007 despite having clearance for only Rs 4 crore.
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