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After a cat-and-mouse game, CBI arrests Chidambaram

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 21, 2019 Published on August 21, 2019

Former union finance minister P Chidambaram

No charge-sheet has been filed against me, says former FM

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was arrested by a team of CBI officials from his residence on Wednesday in the INX Media case. The arrest was made after the Congress leader made a dramatic appearance at the AICC headquarters, almost 24 hours after he was accused of “going underground” fearing arrest. 

However, Chidambaram left the premises minutes before the CBI and ED officials reached the party office to arrest him. Congress workers cleared the way for Chidambaram’s car and raised slogans against the Narendra Modi government outside 24, Akbar Road. The CBI maintained that it had no information of the press conference.

Read: Chidambaram appears at AICC headquarters

At the hurriedly convened press conference, also attended by senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Singhvi and Vivek Tankha, Chidambaram read out a brief statement.

He said he or any of his family members have not been accused of any offence in the INX Media case. “There is no charge-sheet filed by either the ED or the CBI before a competent court,” he added.

Read: Supreme Court to hear P Chidambaram’s plea on Friday

He further said he was aghast that he was accused of hiding from the law. On the contrary, he was seeking the protection of law, he added. “My lawyers tell me the cases will be listed on Friday. I bow down to the orders of the Supreme Court. I respect the law even if it is applied with an unequal hand by the probe agencies,” he said. 

Chidambaram said much has happened in the last 24 hours that has caused concern to some and confusion to many. 

“I believe that the foundation of a democracy is liberty and the 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 will choose liberty,” he said.

The timeline

Graphic by Gitanjali Diwakar

Published on August 21, 2019
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