In a brazen move amid the CBI investigation in the INX Media case, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram addressed a news briefing at the Congress headquarters in Delhi on Wednesday evening, having remained untraceable for the previous 27 hours despite having been issued summons by the CBI. Addressing the news briefing at the AICC, Chidambaram maintained that neither he, nor his son Karti had done anything wrongful, despite the Delhi High Court having refused his anticipatory bail plea a day earlier observing that there was a mountain of evidence against him. He further said that there is no chargesheet filed by either ED or CBI before a competent court in the INX Media case.
"I believe that the foundation of a democracy is liberty, most precious article of the constitution is Article 21 that guarantees life and liberty. If I'm asked to choose between life and liberty, I shall unhesitatingly choose liberty. In the last 24 hours, much happened that has caused concern to some and confusion to many. Many statements today is to address that concern and confusion," the former Home Minister said during the press briefing.
Chidambaram went on to state that the FIR recorded by the CBI in the case does not impute to him of any "wrongdoing" yet.
"In the INX Media case, I have not been accused of any offence, nor is anyone else including any member of my family been accused in any offence. In fact, nor has any charge sheet filed by either the CBI or the ED before the court. The FIR recorded by the CBI does not impute to me any wrongdoing yet there is a widespread impression that grave offences have been committed and my son and I have committed those offences. Nothing can be further from the truth spread by pathological liars," he added.
Speaking about the interim protection he sought from the court in the INX Media case, Chidambaram said:
"When I was summoned by the CBI and the ED, I naturally sought interim protection against arrest. I was granted interim protection. I have enjoyed the interim protection for the last 13-15 months. I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law, on the contrary, I was seeking the protection of law. My lawyers tell that cases will be listed on Friday. I bow down to orders of SC. I respect law even if it is applied with an unequal hand by probe agencies."
During Chidambaram's press briefing at the Congress headquarters, senior party leaders including Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi. He arrived at the Congress headquarters almost after 27 hours of being missing from his Delhi residence, after a team of ED and CBI reached there on Tuesday evening.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court registrar said that the hearing in Chidambaram's desperate plea for interim protection from arrest in the INX Media case will take place on Friday.