Congress leader P Chidambaram, in jail for alleged corruption in clearances given to the INX Media company when he was Union finance minister, on Monday said that no officer had done anything wrong and he did not want anyone to be arrested. Chidambaram is currently being investigated by the Central Board of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the case.
Likely referring to officials of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) when he was the finance minister in 2007, Chidambaram apparently asked his family to tweet from his behalf and said, "People have asked me 'If the dozen officers who processed and recommended the case to you have not been arrested, why have you been arrested? Only because you have put the last signature?'" "I have no answer. No officer has done anything wrong. I do not want anyone to be arrested," he added.
Chidambaram was sent to two-week judicial custody in Tihar jail on 5 September by a CBI court after a bench by the Supreme Court held that the ED case against him is "not a fit case" to grant anticipatory bail. The apex court bench comprising Justice R Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna said that economic offences stand as a different class as they affect "economic fabric of the society" and "extraordinary power" of granting anticipatory bail has to be exercised sparingly in such cases.
Soon after the CBI court's order, Chidambaram said that he was "only worried about the economy". The Congress leader gave the statement when he was asked what he has to say after the court order.
In a similar instance, on 3 September, Chidambaram took a jibe at the Center over the growth rate of the GDP of five percent in the April to June quarter. When he was asked about his custody in CBI, he said, "Five percent. What is five percent? You remember 5 percent?", mocking the government after the GDP slumped to an over six-year low.
Some Opposition MPs have also questioned the motives of the central investigative agencies in "focussing" on allegations of economic offence against only members of parties other than the BJP.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 09, 2019 14:47:19 IST