After being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from Chennai airport on Wednesday morning, Karti Chidambaram was produced at CBI court in Delhi court in the evening. Before being taken to the court, Karti told media that the arrest is an "absolute political vendetta." He added that he will be vindicated.
The arrest of Congress leader Karti Chidambaram has predictably unleashed a war of words between the Congress and BJP. Even as the Congress cried vendetta, the BJP said the case for Karti's arrest was straightforward.
Sources in the BJP were quoted as saying that there is nothing surprising about Karti's arrest, and that the case against him was 'open and shut'. They said the investigation agencies were only doing their job. "Politics should not be done. This is a legal matter. No one is bigger than the Constitution," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Karti was arrested by the CBI from Chennai Airport on Wednesday morning in relation to the case over the approval given by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for receipt of funds to INX Media. The event in question had happened while Karti's father, P Chidambaram, was Union Finance Minister.
"Congress will not be deterred by unleashing of vendetta against P Chidambaram and his family. We will continue to bring out the truth," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
"Karti Chidambaram arrested by CBI. Is Modi still trying to distract from #NiravModiLootsIndia via headline management?" tweeted Swati Chaturvedi, another Congress spokesperson.
In another tweet, she added that more such arrests of Congress leaders could be expected in coming months. "Expect some "political action" from the caged parrot CBI in general election season post the collapse of the 2 G case & #NiravModiLoot as Bjp scrambles to retain anti corruption plank," she said.
Congress leaders said the arrest should have been handled differently. "Mr Karti Chidambaram was arrested when he landed at Chennai airport, he was not trying to escape from India like Nirav Modi then arresting him on his arrival at airport is funny. Karti Chidambaram was cooperating the CBI, the CBI could have summoned him," said senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Karti, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was arrested in connection with the INX money laundering case.
CBI had summoned Karti for questioning earlier but he had sought stay orders from various courts.
He was taken into custody just after he landed from a flight from London.
Soon after the arrest, Karti was put on a Delhi-bound flight and was brought to Delhi at the CBI headquarters where the investigating agency conducted necessary formalities including a medical test before producing him to the CBI court.
Congress leader and Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi will appear for Karti Chidambaram in Delhi's Patiala House Court.
The Congress slammed the arrest of Karti Chidambaram terming it as Modi government’s “diversionary tactic” to hide its "corrupt governance".
“Classical diversionary tactic to hide Scams and Colossal Corruption that is being exposed on a daily basis, be it NiMo+Choksi, DD Jewellers and Rotomac,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.
"However, it will not stop the Congress from bringing the truth out to the people,” he added.
The CBI has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
Karti's name had cropped up in the case which relates to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister during the previous UPA regime.
The ED had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of the approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.
To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED has alleged. The FIPB unit of the finance ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of Income Tax Department, it had alleged.