CBI, ED teams looking for Chidambaram
New Delhi: From the moment the Delhi High Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case, the CBI and ED teams have visited his residence four times in the past 12 hours. However, there’s no trace of him.
The Delhi High Court passed the order on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, a special leave petition was filed in the Supreme Court by his legal team led by advocate and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, against the Delhi High Court order. The petition would be taken up for hearing by a bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana.
A four-member Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) team visited Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence two times since Wednesday morning and asked his staff about his whereabouts.
A CBI team late on Tuesday night had pasted a notice on Chidambaram’s residence asking him to appear before the investigation officer “within two hours”.
The Congress leader was asked in the notice to present himself before the CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Parthasarthy, who is probing the case, to record his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC.
The notice pasted at Chidambaram house read: “Whereas it appears that you are acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the cases noted below, which I am now investigating under chapter XII of the CrPc, you are hereby directed to attend before me within two hours of the receipt for the purpose of the investigation of the case.”
After the notice was pasted, another six members of the CBI followed by an ED team also reached Chidambaram’s residence on Tuesday night. The teams arrived separately at his residence. But left empty handed.
Chidambaram, a seven time Lok Sabha MP, is now a Rajya Sabha member.
His lawyers are likely to put an argument before the apex court seeking his protection from arrest.
Asked how he sees the CBI action, senior lawyer and Congress leader Salman Khurshid said: “(It is) extremely unfair”.
The CBI is investigating Chidambaram in the INX Media case, which it had registered on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during his tenure as Finance Minister.
The ED is probing the money laundering case which it lodged in 2018.