Moments after former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was arrested by CBI officials from his residence in New Delhi, his son and Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram slammed the move, calling it political vendetta. Addressing reporters at his home in Chennai on Wednesday night, Karti Chidambaram said that the authorities had no case against him or his father and neither the CBI, nor the Enforcement Directorate has filed a chargesheet in the INX media case.
Less than twenty minutes earlier, Chidambaram was arrested amidst high drama. Officials of the CBI scaled the walls of his home and whisked him away in a car some time later. Congress cadre staged a demonstration before the Jor Bagh residence of the senior Congress leader who had returned home after a press conference at the AICC headquarters.
Briefly addressing reporters in Chennai, MP Karti alleged, â€śThis is a completely trumped up, made-for-television, made-for-media kind of a spectacle.â€ť
When asked about the dramatic scenes which unfolded in the capital with CBI officials jumping over the walls of P Chidambaramâ€™s home, Karti said, â€śThis government, purely on the basis of vendetta, has created an unrelated case. They say that the events in the case took place in 2008. So they are filing an FIR in 2017. That is, after nine years. They have raided me four times. No one in India has been raided four times. They have served me summons 20 times. For each summons, I have appeared before them for 10 hours. I have also been a guest of the CBI for 11 days. Even after this, they have not filed chargesheet. There is no chargesheet to this day. This is to satisfy someone for political reasons so that certain visuals appear on TV. This doesnâ€™t look to me like a real CBI investigation or action.â€ť
When asked if he himself anticipated an arrest he pointed out that he was protected by the court. He said, â€śI am protected by the court by an order dated March 23, 2018 in the same matter. So all those who are quoting the order of yesterday, please contrast it with the order of Justice RS Garg of the Delhi High Court (paragraph 50). It clearly says that I have nothing to do with it. I have never met any officials. No official of the FIPB has ever claimed that they have met me.â€ť
â€śIf the agencies have a watertight case, they must file a chargesheet. There is still no charge sheet after four raids, 20 summons, 11 days of custody. If they have no charge sheet, it means they have no case,â€ť he repeated.
At the AICC headquarters of Wednesday evening, P Chidambaram said that he had been working all night with his legal team when speculations arose that he was missing. Reiterating this, Karti said, â€śMy father was not absconding. He has attended every summons sent to him. There was no pending summons. And please understand, when a personâ€™s anticipatory bail is rejected, itâ€™s not mandatory for him to go and offer himself to any agency. There is no legal requirement. He has been fully compliant with the law. He has appeared before every agency for every summons till date. The CBI has summoned him only once in the matter, he has appeared before them. The ED has summoned him multiple times, he has appeared before them. There has not been a single summons he has not appeared. A private individual can be anywhere for 24 hours. There is no necessity for him to tell anyone.â€ť
Responding to a question on whether his fatherâ€™s arrest was political vendetta by the BJP, Karti shot back asking, â€śWhat else can be the reason? Who else but the BJP? Would Donald Trump be doing this?â€ť
Adding that this was not new to him, he also said that they would legally face the case through the judicial process.