CBI grills Chidambaram; Karti says he never met Peter or Indrani

New Dehli / Chennai: Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram spent a quiet night in the CBI guest house on the ground floor of the agency headquarters after his dramatic arrest from his posh residence in the INX media corruption case, officials said today.

Chidambaram, 73, was kept in the suite 5 of the guest house, they said. It is normal for the agency to keep high security arrested accused in the guest house to ensure proper security and monitoring, the officials said.

Chidambaram, accompanied by the members of the investigation team, was brought to the CBI headquarters at around 10 Wednesday night, they said.

After a thorough medical check-up by a doctor from the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, he was taken to the room where he spent a quiet night, the officials said.

Mostly, they said, he remained silent except answering a few queries as and when questioned by the CBI officers.
His questioning started this morning under DySP R Parthasarathy who is leading the probe in the alleged corruption in Rs 305 crore clearance given to INX Media when he was the Union Finance Minister, sources said.

The firm once promoted by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, both in jail for murdering latter’s daughter Sheena Bora, had allegedly made payments to a firm linked to finance minister’s son Karti Chidambaram, the CBI has said in the FIR.
Chidambaram has strongly denied the allegations, saying the payments were for consultancy and his son was in no way associated with that company.

Never met them: Karti
Karti Chidambaram today termed the arrest of his father Chidambaram as a ‘political vendetta’ and vehemently denied any association with either Peter Mukherjea or his wife Indrani Mukherjea, the promoters of INX Media.
Karti reached Delhi today from Chennai, hours after his father was arrested on Wednesday night after high drama at his residence here in the INX Media case.

“This is not merely targeting of my father but the targeting of the Congress party. I will go to Jantar Mantar to protest,” said Karti as he stepped out of the Delhi airport.

Karti said there was no legal necessity for Chidambaram to appear before the CBI and denied that his father had been in hiding. He said despite several efforts by the CBI, the agency didn’t have a case against them.

“First and foremost we are being targeted. There is no legal requirement for my father to be available to anybody…My father is a vehement, vocal and articulate critic of this government. Case has no legal basis, charges trumped-up,” said Karti, who said that he knew the processes agencies use and never has the CBI given two hours notice to anyone.

“I have been summoned 20 times and raided four times. Nobody has ever been raided as many times but they still don’t have a case….each time I (was summoned) was given a week’s notice,” he said.

When asked about his association with Peter and Indrani Mukherjea, Karti said he neither knew them nor has he met them. “I have never met Peter Mukherjea. Have never met Indrani Mukherjea, only time I met her was during the CBI interrogation in Byculla jail. Never met anyone in FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board), don’t know the process of FIPB,” he said.

NT Bureau