Before his dramatic arrest from his residence, the former Union minister clarified that no formal chargesheet had been filed against him in the INX Media case and that there was no question of evading the law; on the contrary, he was trying to help law.
The individuals accused in the case face charges of "abuse of official position and criminal conspiracy in giving illegal approval", a CBI official told reporters last month.
CBI sources said that Chidambaram was arrested on an arrest warrant issued by a competent court. According to the central investigation agency, Sheikh, an alleged gangster with terrorist links, his wife Kausar Bi, and his aide Tulsi Prajapati, were abducted by the Gujarat police from a bus when they were on their way to Sangli in Maharashtra from Hyderabad on the night of November 22 and 23, 2005. In March 2018, Indrani Mukerjea, the promoter of INX Media confirmed the CBI that a deal worth $1 million took place between them and Karti Chidambaram for making the FIPB grant the approval favoring the INX Media.
Chidambaram's lawyer, Arshdeep Singh Khurana wrote to the CBI, "I am instructed to state that your notice fails to mention the provision of law under which my client has been issued a notice to appear within 2 hours".
His son Karti Chidambaram has already been named as a defendant in the money-laundering case.
Allegations of payment made to Chidambaram in 2007-08 and 2008-09 are "specific and categorical" and the "trail of this money", if so paid, is to be ascertained, the court said.
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While politicians are known to have gotten away with murder given their ability to "influence" witnesses, the case against this former Union minister appears to be relatively watertight.
Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, said on Thursday that senior counsels Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi have effectively answered "everything" the probe agency is seeking in the INX media case. Some of them also blocked the road in protest.
Against the ED proceedings, the lawyers are likely to argue that the threshold for ED investigations to kick in would be Rs 30 lakh.
In an unprecedented occurrence, the court allowed the former finance minister to speak in open court. Bail plea will be heard by the Supreme Court on Friday.
After his arrest in the INX Media case, P. Chidambaram spent the night of August 21 in the same CBI headquarters, whose inauguration he had attended almost eight years ago when he was the Union Home Minister in UPA 2.
However, the plea stands partly invalidated in light of his arrest by the CBI. It is highly probable that CBI will press for Chidambaram's custodial interrogation, and subsequently the trial court will be called upon to decide on the same.