The Congress on Thursday stepped up its offensive against the CBI and the government over the arrest of former finance minister P Chidambaram, who the opposition party said, was being persecuted to humiliate the Congress leader and tarnish his reputation in the INX Media case.
The Congress, which launched a sharp attack on the CBI, also dared the authorities to place the nature of charges against Chidambaram in public domain. The party insisted that Chidambaram and his son Karti hadn’t been accused of any offence though Karti had been raided four times and summoned over 20 times.
“The (CBI’s) case,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “seems to rely solely upon the testimony of one approver-currently in prison- on trial for the shocking and alleged murder of her own daughter for which she continues to face trial.”
“A seasoned politician was arrested on the statement of a woman charged with murder of her own daughter”, Surjewala said, without elaborating. It was a reference to the INX Media group co-founder Indrani Mukherjea who is in Mumbai jail facing trial for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora. This case was also being investigated by the CBI.
Indrani Mukerjea was arrested in August 2015 after her driver, arrested under the Arms Act, accused his employer of killing his daughter three years earlier. Peter Mukerjea was also arrested later in this case. The CBI told the court that he was the “silent killer” in this case.
According to the prosecution, Indrani had been against the relationship between Sheena, Indrani’s daughter from a previous marriage, and Rahul, Peter’ son from a previous marriage.
Sheena was killed, her body packed in a suitcase and dumped in Maharashtra’s Raigad district in April 2012.
Last year, Indrani Mukerjea told investigators that a deal of $1 million was struck between Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas to secure approval from the FIPB in favour of INX Media.
Last month, a Delhi court allowed Indrani Mukerjea to turn approver in the INX Media case.
She had also claimed to have met Karti Chidambaram when they met P Chidambaram (then a finance minister) in his North Block office in 2006, he asked them to meet his son – Karti – and suggested that they help him in his business.
Karti Chidambaram, who flew down to Delhi to join a protest against his father’s arrest on Thursday, told reporters that this was a baseless allegation. Karti Chidambaram claimed that he only met Indrani Mukerjea when he was in CBI custody last year and the CBI officers brought them face to face.
Chidambaram was taken on Wednesday night from his Jor bagh residence in the national capital, soon after he appeared at Congress party offices to address media, saying he was not hiding — as many believed — but seeking protection of the law.
Flanked by other senior Congress leaders and senior lawyers, he said no charges had been filed in a court by the investigating agencies. “There is a widespread impression that I and my son have committed grave offences… Nothing can be further from the truth,” he said.
When Chidambaram returned to his residence after addressing the media, a CBI team arrived and whisked him away.
A lawyer with a degree from Harvard Business School, Chidambaram is one of the most prominent members of the Congress party and is a lawmaker in Rajya Sabha. Chidambaram, 73, was cabinet minister for more than six years in Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led coalition government until 2014.
Confirming for the first time an official involvement of the United Arab Emirates in the I…