Karti's arrest: Congress cries 'witch hunting' by PM Modi govt

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The loose tightening for sure around Karti Chidambaram where huge payments were made by his family members and he had opened and also shut Metro Bank accounts in the United Kingdom.

When Karti Chidambaram, son of the powerful Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, landed at the Chennai airport from London on Wednesday, he wouldn't have expected CBI officers waiting for him at the global terminal concourse.

P Chidambaram, a Congress veteran, was serving as the Union Finance Minister during that period.

A senior CBI official supervising the probe told the New Indian Express, "Former finance minister P Chidambaram will be summoned to the agency headquarters here and questioned soon".

The CBI previous year filed FIR against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Peter Mukerjee and Rani Mukherjee on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.

Tushar Mehta told the court: "He (Karti) did not reply to basic questions".

However, the Judge in his order disallowed Karti's request for home-cooked food but allowed medicines and a health check-up. He said Karti has strictly complied with the court's directions to join investigations and has no intention of evading trial or fleeing from justice.

Over a decade has passed since the acts, reportedly of financial manipulation to profit, were committed and the lapsed time in investigations is symptomatic of the CBI's work in many corruption cases, making the circumstances of the arrest even more curious. Karti Chidambaram has been accused of getting government clearance for foreign investments worth around Rs. 300 crore in television company INX Media in exchange for bribes in 2007.

While Karti remains in denial, the CBI claims to have found paperwork for the money trail to Karti's companies overseas.

Karti was produced before the court on expiry of one-day CBI custody amidst the presence of his parents P Chidambaram and Nalini, both senior advocates, and were seen talking to him.

Recalling the Supreme Court ruling that bail is the rule and jail is an exception when it comes to criminal cases, he said "it is self-evident that fundamental constitutional guarantees can not be suborned brazenly for political considerations through subversion of the first principles of law". "Although he is not named as an accused, his role in the grant of irregular FIPB [Foreign Investment Promotion Board] clearance to INX Media is part of the FIR", he said.

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