No Evidence Against Chidambaram, Arrest Based on Statement by a Murder-Accused, Says Congress
The Congress questioned why the probe agencies have neither arrested the officials who gave the so-called FIPB permission, nor the officials of the company that committed the crime.
New Delhi: Slamming the government and the CBI for the dramatic manner in which P Chidambaram was arrested from his home, the Congress on Thursday said there was no reason for sleuths to swoop in at night but to tarnish the image of the former union minister in an attempt to exact “personal revenge for the ruling party”.
At a press conference, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said neither Chidambaram nor his son Karti have been accused of any offence in the INX Media case. “There is no offence disclosed against P Chidambaram in the FIR, nor a chargesheet has been filed till today… matter pertains to 2007 and the arrest has only been made 12 years later, six years after PM Modi came to power,” he said.
Calling the arrest the “broad daylight murder of democracy”, Surjewala pointed out that the arrest has been made based on the “statement of a jailed woman who is charged with murdering her own daughter and the approvership statement was given from prison”.
He was referring to the statement given by Indrani Mukerjea, the promoter of INX Media. Her statement to the CBI and ED after she turned approver has been used as a key piece of evidence by the probe agencies. She is currently in jail, along with husband Peter Mukerjea, for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
The Congress spokesperson also questioned why the agencies have neither arrested the officials who gave the so-called FIPB permission, nor the officials of the company that committed the crime. “And yet, a seasoned man with 40 years of dedication to public life has been arrested on the statement of a jailed woman…” he said.
“Apart from wanting to tarnish the image and reputation of the honourable and respected former union minister, there was no other reason to send the CBI and ED and arrest him from his home in the manner in which it was done,” he added.
Chidambaram had spent the night at the CBI headquarters after a dramatic arrest on Wednesday from his house in Delhi after officers of the probe agency even climbed the wall of his home to nab him.
He is accused of facilitating foreign investment into a television company, INX Media, in 2007, when he was the finance minister, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks. Chidambaram has denied the allegations, saying the case is a political witch-hunt.
Surjewala added that the “vindictive, malicious and selective manner in which Chidambaram has been persecuted and prosecuted is nothing short of brazen personal and political vendetta by the Modi government.” He said that the arrest was a way to divert the nation’s attention from a “sinking economy spiralling out of control, unprecedented job losses, shocking devaluation of rupee and unfathomable crisis in all sectors.”
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