In wake of the arrest of senior leader P. Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram, the Congress Party on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of "witch hunting" to hide its scams. The CBI counsel had told the Duty Magistrate that they needed his custodial interrogation since he was not cooperating with the probe and was going overseas frequently.
Karti Chidambaram was arrested in the morning at Chennai airport after he landed from London.
Both Chidambaram and Karti have denied the allegations, calling it a case of "political vendetta".
He is accused of receiving kickbacks in 2007 for getting government clearance for Rs 350 crore foreign investment for television company INX media, using the influence of his father, who was then the Union finance minister.
While Karti was arrested in connection with the INX Media case in which the CBI has alleged that he was paid Dollars one million bribe by the media company through foreign entities, Chidambaram's role in granting FIPB approval to a offshore firm in the Aircel-Maxis deal is also under investigation by the agency. CBI should explain Karti Chidambaram's arrest and remand.
Due to his hospitalisation, the CBI's one-day custody was virtually wasted, he said. All this will need time and a 14-day custody is essential for this. Chidambaram had then asked them to "help the business of his son and make foreign remittances for the objective", the officials said, quoting from the statements of the Mukerjeas.
Mehta continued: "It is shocking that Karti Chidambaram did not complain about health issues, once Doctor from Safdarjung Hospital put him in the cardiac care unit for the entire night". Later in the evening, he was remanded to one-day custody of the CBI by a Delhi court.
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Karti Chidambaram's counsel Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi countered Mehta's submissions by saying: "I was kept in the general ward from 11 pm yesterday to 7 am today morning".
The court directed that Karti be produced before the court on 6 March and asked the investigating officer to get him medically examined every 24 hours during custody.
Singhvi claimed that it is this report of the SFIO that came in the public domain in 2013 - when the UPA government was in power - and served as a striking indictment against INX media. During the hearing before the top court, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who has filed a petition in the top court in this regard, had said he had received a reply from CBI stating it was probing "all angles", including the FIPB clearance given to the deal by Chidambaram.
"P Chidambaram has maintained that neither he nor any of his family member or relations have ever had or hav3e its stake, shareholding or directorship of Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd or INX Media Pvt Ltd at any point of time", Surjewala said.
The CBI said that in May 2007, first FIPB approval was given to INX Media and in April 2008, this reference was made in the Finance Ministry.
CBI had registered an FIR against Karti, Mukerjeas and unknown officials of the then finance ministry in May past year after the Enforcement Directorate had registered a ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) against Karti, INX Media and Mukerjeas.