Ending a high drama lasting two days, senior Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram was finally arrested by a CBI team today evening from his residence. TV channels showed the CBI sleuths climbing over the wall of the Chidambaram’s residence to arrest him after knocking on the doors yielded no results.
This has marked the end of wait of more than a year for CBI and ED seeking custodial interrogation of the former finance minister. P Chidambaram is accused of granting illegal FIPB approval to six companies, including INC Media and Aircel-Maxis, and he and his son Karti Chidambaram are accused of using shell companies to launder money received as kickbacks for the FIPB approvals.
Can’t make this up. CBI/Enforcement Directorate men scaling the wall to P. Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/pK7Pp6jLKs
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 21, 2019
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. Not only the anticipatory bail peal was rejected, the HC had also refused to grant interim relief till he approaches the Supreme Court with an appeal against the order.
Today Chidambaram’s lawyers approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent mentioning, but it was rejected. His lawyers had approached the court of Justice NV Ramana, but sent the file to CJI saying he is not authorised to decide who will hear a case. But 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.
Chidambaram was still absconding, prompting both the ED and CBI to issue lookout circulars for him. But things took a dramatic turn in the evening when Chidambaram surfaced at the AICC headquarters, in full view of TV camera, addressing a press conference. He denied the charges filed against him by ED and CBI, saying those are lies by pathological liars. He also said that he was hiding from the law, saying he was with his lawyers. Chidambaram said that he spent the whole night last night and the day today preparing the documents to be submitted at the Supreme Court for his bail plea.
Chidambaram left the AICC office immediately after the press conference, without taking any questions, and before the ED and CBI teams could arrive to arrest him. He headed to his Jor Bagh residence directly from there, where he was spotted by waiting media teams, he was accompanied by Kapil Sibal.
As the media kept telecasting scene outside his residence, soon CBI and ED teams arrived to arrest P Chidambaram. But as he had locked himself inside the house, therefore they knocked on the door, but it was not responded and the door was not opened. Therefore, some CBI officers climbed the boundary wall and entered the residence. Eventually a Delhi Police team was summoned by CBI for help, who helped in entering the resident from the back gate of the premises.
Even after the officers entered the premises, the drama continued for almost an hour, as the CBI and ED officers completed their formalities and probably argued with Chidambaram and his lawyers. At last at around 9:45 PM, P Chidambaram was taken into custody by CBI and taken way in a car.