Dramatic arrest of senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case the other day has taken everyone by surprise. After all what were the reasons that made Chidambaram play hide and seek for 27 hours with the CBI when the investigating agency went to arrest him following rejection of his anticipatory bail plea by Delhi High Court. After he was sent to CBI remand for five days, Chidambaram moved a petition in the Supreme Court seeking relief asking for cancellation of the arrest warrant. But the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal since the petition became ‘infructuous’ once he was arrested. The CBI court has accepted CBI plea for extending Chidambaram’s remand by another four days.
The way Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI is being viewed as a big achievement of the government. Till now no leader holding the post of Union Home Minister and Finance Minister was arrested for any crime. This has sent a message across the country that the government will not hesitate in bringing to book any leader howsoever he or she may be big if he or she is found prima facie guilty of offence irrespective of Party affiliation.
After Chidambaram, the CBI has expedited the case involving Robert Vadra and other big wigs of the Congress Party in the National Herald case. The accused may be arrested one day.
At the moment it is to be seen if the Congress will go on back foot or stand behind Chidambaram with full force. The Congress has termed the arrest of Chidambaram as part of ‘political conspiracy’ of the government to silence critics of the government by framing false cases against Opposition leaders. According to Congress leaders the government has deliberately stage managed the arrest of Chidambaram to divert attention of the country from deteriorating economy, loss of jobs and falling rupee in currency market. This is baseless charge; just rhetoric.
Can any officer of investigating agency dare arrest a former Home Minister without any solid evidence?
In run up to 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had released a CD of “Damad Sree” as part of its campaign against Congress highlighting charges of corruption against Robert Vadra who happens to be son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi. After Vadra, the BJP levelled charges of corruption against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram and some other Congress leaders. However, when no action was taken against Vadra during the five year rule of Modi Government, the Congress took it that nothing will happen and took aggressive position against the BJP and the Modi Government.
As a matter of fact during the election campaign in 2019 Lok Sabha poll the Congress defended its leaders by saying if Congress leaders have committed any offence why no action was being taken against them; why they are not being arrested.
Congress took a tough posture and gave Party ticket to Karti Chidambaram to contest Lok Sabha election to tease the government. Despite Robert Vadra facing charges, the Congress appointed his wife Priyanka Vadra as General Secretary and made her to look after campaign in Uttar Pradesh in Lok Sabha poll.
The case of P Chidambaram is different from others. Howsoever grave charges are against Chidambaram it is not an ordinary case. It involves former Home and Finance Minster of the country. And charges are of corruption while being Union Minister. Is that Chidambaram who is a senior advocate of Supreme Court does not trust the judiciary of the land. No doubt, nobody will object to legal course being taken by Chidambaram to defend himself which his legal and fundamental right as a citizen of India. But can one expect such conduct from a man who spent log years in public life.
Here one more question arises. Does it give any person in public life for long years to indulge in corrupt practice and to defend corruption in public life? Not only Chidambaram but his whole family is involved in some or the other case of corruption whether it involves his son or his wife. Chidambaram has been arrested in the INX Media case. But he and his son are also facing charges in Aircel-Maxis case that involves money laundering. CBI has already filed charge- sheet in the case in July last. The case involves Chidambaram facilitating investment in Aircel through Global Communications Holding Services by getting approval of FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board). The charge against Chidambaram is that he had got investment made in the firm to the tune of rupees 3650 crores in 2006 when he was Finance Minister. Beside this he managed to benefit to some other accused in the case to the tune of Rs. 1.16 crore as illegal income.
It would have been better for Chidambaram to have surrendered before the investigating agencies and cooperated with them in investigation like any other accused. Why Chidambaram is so scared if he thinks there is no case against him and that the charges levelled against him have no substance.
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