Chidambaram arrested by CBI in INX media case

New Delhi: After a day-long drama, the CBI yesterday night arrested former Finance Minister P Chidambaram at his residence in the INX media scam.

The CBI officials scaled up the walls of Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence to gain entry. After the arrest, the Congress leader was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for a medical examination. Later, he was shifted to the CBI Guest House.

According to media reports, the 73-year-old Chidambaram will be produced before a special CBI court today.

After the Delhi High Court refused to grant any protection from arrest to the former finance minister in the INX media case, the CBI issued a notice to him on Tuesday, asking him to appear before the investigation officer within two hours, after failing to find him at his residence. Yesterday, he failed to get any immediate relief from a Supreme Court bench.

Even as the CBI officials were on a look out for him, Chidambaram, along with senior Supreme Court lawyers and party colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appeared before the media to make a press statement. Speaking to the media, he rejecting reports of his evading the law. He also said that the charges against him and his son Karti Chidambaram were nothing further from truth. Chidambaram also stated that he was working with his lawyers through the last night, preparing his papers for his bail application, which was filed before the Supreme Court earlier.

As soon as he appeared on the media, CBI sleuths rushed to the Congress party office and later to his house at 115-A Jorbagh.

Delhi Police personnel were deployed at the spot to prevent any adverse situation. About two dozen CBI officials gathered at his bunglow and some of them scaled the nearly five-feet-high walls to gain entry. Soon after that, a team of officers from ED too arrived at the scene. Once the arrest formalities were complete, Chidambaram was taken to the agency headquarters. Congress supporters had gathered at the venue and protested against the arrest.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.

NT Bureau