Scam ridden Chidambaram’s excuse: Right to privacy, right to live in dignity

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, who is neck-deep in allegations of various corruption scams, has moved the Supreme Court and sought protection to his right to privacy and right to live in dignity.

As reported by Times of India, following a series of raids and summons to his son Karthi Chidambaram by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged irregularities of obtaining FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approvals for INX Media and Aircel-Maxis deal, Chidambaram has alleged ‘witch hunt’ by the CBI and the ED. The former union minister of finance has challenged the authorities to give shape to the real agenda of targeting him. He claims that neither he nor his son is named in the FIR lodged by the CBI.

In his petition to Supreme Court, Chidambaram introduces himself as senior advocate and member of Parliament and says, ‘The writ petition is being filed to defend and protect the petitioner’s fundamental rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution and to defend his right to privacy and the right to live, along with members of his family, in dignity.’ However, as per reports, there seem to be procedural defects in the petition which could soon be notified to Chidambaram’s advocate on record Anupam Lal Das.

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In the petition, Chidambaram told the SC that he lived alone in a house in posh Jor Bagh, jointly owned by his wife and son. Earlier in January, in a raid conducted at this house, classified CBI reports were reportedly seized from his house. The status report was reportedly submitted by the investigative agency to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover to the SC double bench of Justices GS Singhvi and K Radhakrishnan on August 1, 2013, when Chidambaram was a Union Minister in the UPA-2 cabinet. Such reports from investigative agencies are not meant to be made available for anyone else except the Supreme Court.

The petition further said, ‘The CBI and ED, as part of political vendetta, have made vexatious searches, issued repeated summons, unreasonably questioned persons for unconscionably long hours, unlawfully attached fixed deposits, maliciously leaked false information to the media and otherwise caused extreme harassment, anguish and humiliation to me and my son, and to other persons who are normal business and social friends of my son.’

This news emerges after a Supreme Court bench refused to stay the summons against Karti Chidambaram in the INX media case issued by the Enforcement Directorate.

The father-son duo has been under the scanner for alleged dubious foreign investment clearances given during the tenure of P Chidambaram as finance minister at the previous UPA dispensation. The case relates to the dubious Aircel-Maxis deal. In 2006, Aircel was sold to Maxis – a Malaysian company – in a deal that allegedly violated foreign investments protocol. The Enforcement Directorate is currently investigating various aspects of the FIPB approval given in the Aircel-Maxis deal case under anti-money laundering laws. The CBI has also registered a case regarding alleged irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. The agency has levelled the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means and criminal misconduct.

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