New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday came out in support of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is appearing to face arrest by the CBI in the INX Media, saying that he was being “shamefully hunted down”.

“An extremely qualified and respected member of the Rajya Sabh @PChidambaram_IN ji has served our nation with loyalty for decades including as Finance Minister & Home Minister. He unhesitatingly speaks truth to power and exposes the failures of this government but the truth is inconvenient to cowards so he is being shamefully hunted down. We stand by him and will continue to fight for the truth no matter what the consequences are,” Priyanka tweeted.

Priyanka's support for Chidambaram and her scathing attack on the government came at a time when the CBI has been repeatedly visiting the latter's residence in the national capital ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on his plea challenging the Delhi High Court's order rejecting his anticipatory bail petitions in the INX Media case. 

Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had opposed Chidambaram's plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning.

Both the probe agencies had contended that during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister, FIPB clearance was granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.

ED contended that the companies in which money was transferred are directly or indirectly controlled by Chidambaram's son, Karti, and they have a reason to believe that the FIPB approval was granted to INX Media on his son's intervention.

The high court had on July 25, 2018 granted interim protection from arrest to Chidambaram in both the cases and it was extended from time to time.

The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED had in 2018 lodged the money laundering case in this regard.

Chidambaram's petition had said that though no summons had ever been served on him by the ED in this case, he had an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the CBI, which was investigating the scheduled offence.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta