The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday produced Congress leader Karti Chidambaram before a special court in Delhi, hours after he was arrested at Chennai airport for allegedly violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
During the hearing in the court, the CBI stated that Karti Chidambaram has been “evasive in his replies and investigation”. The CBI further said, “He made incorrect statements with respect to evidence. All this delays the conclusion of investigation.”
Responding to this, Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Karti, termed the allegations by the CBI as bizarre. Alleging that the arrest is motivated, he said, "He hasn't been given a single summon in last six months." Dismissing allegations made by CBI that he is not cooperating, Singhvi pointed that the last summon issued against Karti was in August 2017.
Karti Chidambaram, son for former home minister and veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram, was arrested from Chennai Airport soon after his flight from United Kingdom landed in the Tamil Nadu capital. He had been on a visit to the United Kingdom, specifically his alma mater at Cambridge University. He had sought permission from the Madras High Court last week to travel abroad.
His arrest triggered a war of words between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with the former alleging vendetta. The BJP, however, asserted that the Congress leader’s arrest was straightforward.
Sources in the BJP were quoted as saying that there is nothing surprising about Karti's arrest, and that the case against him was 'open and shut'. They said the investigation agencies were only doing their job. "Politics should not be done. This is a legal matter. No one is bigger than the Constitution," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
The Congress, meanwhile, said that it would not be deterred with the vendetta against Chidambaram and his family. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Congress will not be deterred by unleashing of vendetta against P Chidambaram and his family. We will continue to bring out the truth."
Another Congress spokesperson, Priyanka Chaturvedi, targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting, "Karti Chidambaram arrested by CBI. Is Modi still trying to distract from #NiravModiLootsIndia via headline management?"
The CBI has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.