Why was Chidambaram arrested?
The dramatic arrest of the former finance minister and Congress leader raises doubts over whether due process was followed in this politically sensitive casel
The CBI made a dramatic arrest of Congress leader and former finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram on Wednesday night after scaling the walls of his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi in full media glare.
The arrest was expected ever since his bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court, and the Supreme Court declined an urgent bail hearing on Wednesday.
The Finance Ministry's Enforcement Division had issued notice to him over alleged irregularities in the INX Media case. CBI officials had yesterday visited Chidambaram's house and issued notice to him to appear within two hours.
Yesterday, Kapil Sibal, his lawyer appealed to the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing. But the judges said the case would have to be listed in front of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for appropriate directions.
Chidambaram was arrested after he had addressed the press at the Congress party headquarters at Akbar Road. Flanked by other top party leaders, he flatly denied charges of corruption and money laundering.
It was after this that the CBI showed up at his residence and took him away around 9.45pm.
- ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2019
Speaking at the press conference just hours before his arrest, Chidambaram said he was accused of trying to flee from the law, but said he would comply with the law, however unjustly it may be applied.
He added that his only hope for justice is the Supreme Court. It is now reported that the hearing of the bail plea will take place in the Supreme Court on Friday.
The case against Chidambaram is that as finance minister he helped the company, INS Maxis, get clearance for foreign funding at the behest of his son, Karthi Chidambaram.
It is noteworthy that both INX founders, Peter Indrani Mukherjee, are facing imprisonment for the murder of their daughter Sheena Bora.
Sheena Bora and brother Rahul Mukherjee
Whatever may be the merits of the case, there is no doubt that the CBI acted with unseemly haste, dramatically scaling the walls on finding the main gate shut. The CBI's conduct also posed questions about whether the drama was necessary given that he was not absconding or accused of a heinous crime. Due process appears to have been given short shrift in this case, which has overtones of political vendetta.
[Autotranslated from Tamil]