Last night on Wednesday, former Union Minister P Chidambaram was finally arrested by the CBI soon after he reached his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi following his appearance at a press conference at AICC headquarters. He will be grilled by the CBI at 10 AM
In a dramatic turn of events, a team of about 30 CBI officers accompanied by Delhi Police officials reached the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram and knocked at the doors for a few minutes before scaling the boundary wall to enter the premises. Even the Enforcement Directorate also reached the spot to take former Finance Minister into their custody.
Later, Chidambaram was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for his preliminary health check-up before locking him up in CBI headquarters. A CBI spokesperson said he has been arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent court. The CBI headquarters where he spent his night was the same building he inaugurated back in 2011 when he was the Home Minister.
Reportedly, Chidambaram was kept in the suit No. 5 of the CBI Guest House on the ground floor of the agency headquarters. He will be later produced before a special CBI court today, where the agency will seek his remand.
The CBI has sought Chidambaram’s “custodial interrogation” in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media when he was the finance minister. Not only the anticipatory bail peal was rejected, but the HC had also refused to grant interim relief till he approaches the Supreme Court with an appeal against the order.
Later, Chidambaram’s counsel represented by senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and others had approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent mentioning, but it was rejected. The lawyers had approached the court of Justice NV Ramana, who sent the file to CJI saying he is not authorised to decide who will hear a case.
As CJI Gogoi had already started hearing the Ayodhya case, it could not be presented before him. The plea also had some defected which delayed the case of Chidambaram, and it was decided that SC will take up the plea on Friday.
Earlier on Tuesday, P Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court yesterday, paving the way for his arrest. Although ED and CBI sought to arrest him immediately after the HC order on August 20, they could not locate him.
Former Finance Minister who was on the run following the Delhi High Court judgement appeared before the media in a press conference in the AICC headquarters on Tuesday.
“I am aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law,” said Chidambaram, rejecting allegations that he was evading investigating agencies, adding he was working with his lawyers through Tuesday night, preparing his papers for his bail application.
The INX Media case relates to discrepancies and alleged shady dealings in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media group for international investment funds worth several hundred crores. Chidambaram was the finance minister at that time. As per reports, the ED is hopeful of getting Chidambaram’s custody following which he could be questioned on the source of money through which his son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram bought various properties in India and abroad including a tennis club in Spain, cottages in the UK. These properties are reportedly valued at Rs 54 crore.