Karti Chidambaram's arrest 'wholly arbitrary', mocks constitutional conscience, says ex-law minister Ashwani Kumar

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar on Thursday termed the arrest of former finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram "wholly arbitrary" and accused the CBI of adopting a "persecutorial approach" in the matter.

That the decision to arrest him was "wholly arbitrary" was clear from the way the case had progressed, the former law minister said.

"Karti Chidambaran's arrest mocks the constitutional conscience as far as the citizen's fundamental right to personal liberty and dignity is concerned," he said.

File image of Ashwani Kumar. Wikimedia Commons

File image of Ashwani Kumar. Wikimedia Commons

Referring to the fact that he had been taken into custody, Kumar said, "We cannot also forget that in criminal cases bail is the rule and jail is an exception as declared by the Supreme Court several years ago and reiterated recently".

He said an oppressive criminal investigation violated the citizen's right to reputation and dignity, the most "sacrosanct of all rights".

"It is self-evident that fundamental constitutional guarantees cannot be suborned brazenly for political considerations through subversion of the first principles of law," he said in a statement.

The former law minister said Karti Chidambaram had been interrogated for several hours at different times during the last few months and all documents considered necessary were with the prosecuting agency.

He said it has also been established by Karti's conduct in strictly complying with the court's directions to join investigations that he has no intention of evading trial or fleeing from justice.

"In these circumstances, his arrest for the purpose of custodial interrogation raises the larger issue about the persecutorial approach adopted by the CBI," he said.

"Such actions enable fugitives from the law to question the legitimacy and fairness of our investigative processes and bring into question our commitment to the rule of law and human rights," he alleged.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala also said P Chidambaram and his family were being harassed, but the Congress believed in justice and had faith in the judiciary.

Surjewala said he hoped the judiciary would "put its stamp" on Karti's innocence in the case.

Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 22:36 PM

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