Chidambaram, who was nowhere to be seen since on Tuesday when the Delhi High court refused to grant him any relief from arrest, made a surprise appearance at the Congress headquarters on Wednesday evening.
CBI arrests Chidambaram: For Congress stalwart and former Union minister P Chidambaram, the week has so far been a pretty troublesome one. The high drama and with the central agencies intensifying their investigation into his alleged role in the INX Media money laundering case, things only look to be getting tougher for him.
Chidambaram, who was nowhere to be seen since on Tuesday when the Delhi High court refused to grant him any relief from arrest, made a surprise appearance at the Congress headquarters on Wednesday evening. Flanked by his lawyers and party colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Chidambaram addressed a press conference and rubbished allegations against him and his son Karti and asserted that he was not evading the law.
“Respect for law can mean only one thing, wait for Supreme Court justice on Friday. Until Friday and beyond, let’s hope the lamp of liberty will shine bright and illuminate the whole country,” the former UPA minister told reporters. “If I am asked to choose between life and liberty, I shall unhesitatingly choose liberty,” he added.
CBI’s hot pursuit
Immediately after the press conference, Chidambaram along with Sibal and Singhvi rushed to his posh Jor Bagh bungalow in South Delhi. Television channels showed Chidambaram getting down from his luxurious sedan and walking inside the house. The gates of the bungalow were shut immediately.
A team of CBI sleuths soon arrived at the bungalow but it was not allowed inside. A couple of CBI officers then climbed the imposing main gate of Chidambaram’s bungalow and jumped inside. The late-night dramatic scenes were aired live across the country.
After some time, Chidambaram was made to sit in a white SUV alongwith a couple of CBI officials. The 73-year-old leader was taken to the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters situated barely 10 minutes drive away from his house. A team of doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital conducted Chidambaram’s medical tests at the CB headquarters.
Life comes a full circle for Palaniappan Chidambaram
After the medical tests, Chidambaram, who is currently a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra, was escorted to suit No. 5 of guest house at CBI headquarters. The swanky new main office of the country’s premier investigative agency was inaugurated on June 30, 2011. Chidambaram, who was then the Union Home Minister was present at the inauguration event along with then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
#WATCH ANI file footage: The then Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram at the inauguration of the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in Delhi on June 30, 2011. Chidambaram was arrested by CBI yesterday and brought to this complex. pic.twitter.com/ikuxIzaSyF
— ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2019
Ever since his arrest by the agency which once reported to him, photos and videos of Chidambaram along with his colleagues Kapil Sibal and Veerappa Moily during the inauguration of the new CBI complex are being widely circulated on the social media.
Reports said Chidambaram, who will be produced before a special court later today, spent a quiet night at the CBI guest house. It remains to be seen for how long Chidambaram will be the ‘guest’ at the CBI headquarters that he once opened.
Will Supreme Court grant relief to Chidambaram?
Throughout Wednesday, Chidambaram was hoping for relief from the Supreme Court, however, his plea was not heard by the top court. Despite desperate attempts from Kapil Sibal and his team of lawyers, the matter, which was supposed to be heard by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, could not be listed.
“Sorry, Mr Sibal. We cannot hear the matter,” the apex court bench of Justices NV Ramana, M Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi said.The Supreme Court is expected to hear Chidambaram’s plea on Friday. However, his plea seeking relief from arrest is now infructuous as the CBI has already taken him in custody. Chidambaram may now seek regular bail from the special CBI court in which he will produced later on Thursday.