As a lookout notice has been issued by the agencies against P Chidambaram after he allegedly remains untraceable after the Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the INX media case, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Centre is misusing power. In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Rahul Gandhi said that the Centre under Prime Minster Narendra Modi is attempting a 'character assassination' of the former finance minister.
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.
As the agencies have put the former finance minister under the scanner for his alleged involvement in money laundering and corruption cases, his lawyer and Congress leader, Abhishek Manu Singhvi refuted the claims of non-cooperation by the ED and CBI. He said that he is still an accuse in the INX media case and not a convict, and that the CBI had summoned him only once when he went, and ED had summoned him 9 to 10 times when he cooperated. He then added: "We have to see if it is prosecution or persecution." Singhvi also spoke in the similar lines to that of Rahul Gandhi saying: "If you say they are great, then they will not touch you." He also said in a tweet that Chidambaram is not an absconder as he was with Sighvi till 06:30 on Tuesday evening.
#LIVE on #ChidambaramMissing | ED called him 8-9 times, he has always responded. He is co-operative: Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior Congress leader— Republic (@republic) August 21, 2019
Stay tuned for https://t.co/ALGCqn8yih pic.twitter.com/LXV8HByEUM
While the CBI reached Chidambaram's residence to question him in the investigation, top sources had told Republic that the Congress leader may be on the run over possibilty of arrest, if required by the probe agency. Top sources also informed that the former Finance Minister under UPA government was earlier at the residence of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Sighvi, but left after an hour-long visit. Sources further added that Chidambaram has gone underground. He is still missing at the time of publishing the story.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Delhi High Court rejected the bail plea of Chidambaram in the INX media case. He had approached the court with an anticipatory bail plea in the corruption and money laundering case against him. During arguments in the court, both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed his plea on the ground that his custodial interrogation was required as he was evasive during questioning.
5:08 PM Tuesday: Chidambaram was last seen
7:04 PM Tuesday: CBI team arrived at his Delhi residence
7:20 PM Tuesday: Team leaves after the Congress leader's whereabouts were unknown.
11:30 PM Tuesday: CBI team pastes summon on his main gate asking him to appear in 2 hours
1:10 AM Wednesday: Chidambaram's lawyer writes to the CBI
8:10 AM Wednesday: The CBI team arrives at the former Union Minister's home again