I feel deeply hurt: Home Minister P Chidambaram

Chidambaram is accused of withdrawal of three cases against SP Gupta, Chairman, Sunair Hotels Limited.

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2011, 00:34 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Breaking his silence over the withdrawal of three FIRs against an hotelier, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday that he was hurt by the allegations leveled against him.

“I feel deeply hurt. I strongly reject completely unfounded allegations of BJP,” he said.

“I don`t have any current subsisting interest with any case,” he added. The Home Minister also said that can`t have lifelong interest in over 25,000 cases he represented as lawyer in last four decades.

His remarks came against the backdrop of controversy over the alleged conflict of interest involving Chidambaram in withdrawal of three cases against SP Gupta, Chairman, Sunair Hotels Limited, New Delhi, said to be a former client of Chidambaram.

Chidambaram said since 2004, hotelier SP Gupta had made
more than 40 representations to the Home Ministry requesting
to withdraw the three FIRs filed against him, which were also
backed by three MPs.

"What conflict of interests? A lawyer in his career
appears in scores of cases. Does he carry interests in all the
cases throughout his life? I may have appeared in one or two
cases (during the said time).... But I don`t have any current
subsisting interest with any case," Chidambaram said.

He said the file related to Gupta`s representations came
to him only once on May 4, 2011 when he recommended that the
Home Ministry should not give any directions and Home Ministry
may only convey the advice of the Ministry of Law.

"I have written that MHA should not give direction. We
may only convey the advice of Ministry of Law," he said.

The Home Minister said Gupta first approached the Home
Ministry on July 12, 2004, when Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil
was the Home Minister, requesting it to withdraw the FIRs
against him.

Subsequently, the hotelier made six representations in
2005, 24 representations in 2006, six representations in 2007,
two representations in 2008, 10 representations in 2009, four
representations in 2010 and a few more representations in
2011.

The Home Minister has been in the line of fire ever since the controversy broke out. The Opposition including the BJP and the Left have been asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a statement in the House on the whole issue.

The main Opposition, the BJP have been asking for Chidambaram’s resignation saying that his role as the Home Minister had become untenable.

Meanwhile, the man in the eye of the storm had maintained a resolute silence till today on the whole matter.

Earlier in the day, former Union home secretary GK Pillai defended him saying the Home Minister had clearly instructed his officials not to take any decision and asked only to convey the Law Ministry`s advice.

"I clearly remember that the Home Minister had written in the file that the Home Ministry should convey the advice of Ministry of Law and the Home Ministry should not give any direction on the issue," Pillai told a news agency.

His remarks came against the backdrop of controversy over the alleged conflict of interest involving Chidambaram in withdrawal of three cases against SP Gupta, Chairman, Sunair Hotels Limited, New Delhi, said to be a former client of Chidambaram.

Pillai said the draft of a letter sent by the Home Ministry to the Delhi government for withdrawal of FIRs had not been shown to the Home Minister or Home Secretary or the Joint Secretary concerned and it did not reflect the proper deliberations in the Home Ministry.

He said the Home Minister had clearly instructed the officials not to give any direction to Delhi government regarding the withdrawal of the case.

The application from Gupta requesting withdrawal of the FIRs against him was received when Pillai was home secretary.

The Delhi government yesterday had revoked its earlier decision not to press for prosecution of cases against the hotelier. The decision was taken by Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna.

Meanwhile, noisy protests by opposition members demanding removal of the Home Minister stalled proceedings in Parliament today without any significant business, and forced adjournment till Monday of both houses.

Presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha adjourned the houses first till noon and then for the day after the opposition continued to create a ruckus.

With PTI inputs