The big question: Where is P Chidambaram?
P Chidambaram, the former Union Finance Minister, has been absconding since the Delhi High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate issued a lookout notice against him, which stops him from traveling abroad. Notably, the Congress stalwart is being probed for his involvement in the INX Media corruption case. The big question remains - where is he?
Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign funds to INX Media, a company founded by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea when he was the Finance Minister. His son Karti, reportedly received kickbacks after INX Media secured funds of over Rs. 300 crore. While CBI has registered a corruption case, ED is investigating a money laundering case. On Tuesday, Delhi HC didn't grant anticipatory bail to Chidambaram.
Obviously, Congress is standing by its stalwart during his "hard time". Earlier in the day, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in support of Chidambaram reminding about his "service to the nation". "He unhesitatingly speaks truth to power and exposes the failures of this government," she wrote on the micro-blogging website. Meanwhile, her brother and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi's Govt is using the ED, CBI sections of a spineless media to character assassinate Mr Chidambaram.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 21, 2019
I strongly condemn this disgraceful misuse of power.
In an interesting turn of events, CBI and ED are "looking for" Chidambaram at a time when Amit Shah is the Home Minister. In 2010, when Chidambaram handled the Union Home Ministry, Shah was arrested for his involvement in an alleged fake encounter case. CBI claimed Shah green-lit the extra-judicial killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife, and their friend. But a court absolved Shah.
In fact, SK Mishra, who is the current chief of ED, also worked under Chidambaram when he was the Home Minister. But Mishra went back to his parent cadre after he had some differences with the senior Congress leader.
Separately, Chidambaram had requested an urgent hearing for his bail plea, but the Supreme Court didn't take a call on it and forwarded it to CJI Ranjan Gogoi. In his plea, Chidambaram said there is no possibility that he would "flee justice". He requested more time to appear before CBI. Meanwhile, CBI told the top court, "It's a monumental magnitude of money laundering case."