CBI raid on DMK's M K Stalin slammed by 'agitated' FM P. Chidambaram

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 21 2013, 21:01pm hrs
ChidambaramChidambaram said he had conveyed his disapproval to the concerned authorities in govt. (Reuters)
Within hours of CBI raids being unleashed against DMK's M K Stalin a clearly agitated Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters that he did not agree with what has happened.

Indicating that the raids will send the wrong message to the country, Chidambaram said he had conveyed his disapproval to the concerned authorities in the government.

"I don't usually comment on the activities of other ministries, but this time I am making an exception. The raids are bound to be misunderstood," says Chidambaram.

DMK's M K Stalin is perceived to be the force behind the move to quit the UPA - it is reported he convinced party patriarch M Karunanidhi to take the final step and make the DMK ministers in central govt quit, which included his brother Alagiri.

However, Chidambaram refused to go beyond that, saying further questions saying, 'I suggest that you put further questions to Minister incharge or head of CBI'.

CBI reports to PM Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is part of the loop of authority.

CBI carried out raids at 19 places across Tamil Nadu,

including at the Chennai residence of Stalin, who is DMK chief M Karunanidhi's son, in a case of alleged tax evasion of imported cars.

The CBI team reached the house of Stalin in Chennai, who is alleged to be one of the beneficiaries of importing foreign cars, agency officials said.

The raids came close on the heels of DMK pulling out of the ruling UPA alliance and its five ministers resigning over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

After in-house outrage, PM Manmohan Singh washes hands of CBI raid on M K Stalin

As a political controversy broke out over CBI action against DMK leader M K Stalin, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today distanced the government from it, saying it had "no role" in the development and was "upset" over it.

"We are all upset at these events. The government had no role in this that I am sure of. We will find out the details. This should not have...(happened). The timing of the raid is most unfortunate," Singh told reporters here.

The Prime Minister's remarks came even as the searches carried out just two days after DMK pulled out of UPA, triggered a political controversy over its timing with even top Central ministers strongly disapproving of the action.

Congress ministers in UPA including P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath strongly disapproved of the CBI searches, as the Centre distanced itself from the action, saying it was not aware of it.

DMK, which pulled out of UPA on Tuesday and withdrew its ministers yesterday, said the action was a "political vendetta" amid reports that the agency concluded its searches after the uproar broke out.

CBI tries to explain away raid against Stalin

Under fire for conducting searches at DMK leader M K Stalin's house, CBI today tried to defend its action saying it was "strictly" in accordance with procedures and there was no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual.

Amid uproar and displeasure made evident by political leaders, the CBI team pulled out of the residence of Stalin and its top brass even suggested that the team was never intended to go inside the residence.

The CBI came out with a statement explaining why the searches were carried out in a case of imported vehicles registered yesterday.

It said that a case had been registered under various sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy, forgery, cheating and abuse of official position.

It pertains to a complaint that about 33 vehicles had been imported in Tamil Nadu and out of these, certain vehicles are believed to have been imported and subsequently sold in violation of import provisions causing loss of up to Rs 48 crore to the exchequer, the CBI said.

The case has been registered against an importer and a senior intelligence officer of DRI who allegedly did not take any action even after identification of vehicles at the premises of certain users and unknown others.

During the searches conducted at 18 locations today, 17 imported cars have been located and seized, the statement said and added that searches are continuing.

"CBI wishes to clarify that the operation was strictly in accordance with procedures and there was no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual," the statement said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh distanced the government from the CBI action, saying it had "no role" in the development and was "upset" over it.

Union Ministers P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath "strongly disapproved" of the agency's action while the Opposition slammed the government accusing it of misusing CBI.