Dramatic scenes unfolded at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram residence as sleuths of the Central Bureau of India (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), arrested and escorted him to CBI headquarters from his Jor Bagh home.
"Mr P Chidambaram has been arrested in connection with INX media case," a senior official of the agency said. A CBI spokesperson said he has been arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent court.Chidambaram will spend the night in the CBI lock-up. A medical examination will be conducted and he will be produced before a special CBI court on Thursday, where the agency will seek his remand.
Earlier, a team of about 30 CBI sleuths accompanied by Delhi police officials reached the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram and knocked at the doors for a few minutes before scaling the boundary wall to enter the premises.
#WATCH Delhi: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official jumps the gate of P Chidambaram's residence to get inside. CBI has issued a Look-Out Notice against him. pic.twitter.com/WonEnoAgR4
Chidambaram denied all allegations levelled against him and his family members in the INX media case and said there is no charge sheet filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Speaking to reporters at Congress headquarters, he said, "I was working alongside my lawyers all night. I was accused of running away but on the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice. I bow down to the orders of the Supreme Court and between now and Friday, I shall respect the law even if it's applied unequally by investigating agencies."Meanwhile, Karti P Chidambaram tweeted that the move by the ED and CBI is a political witch-hunt.
"If I am asked to choose between life and liberty, I will unhesitatingly choose liberty. Whatever is happening with him is a huge concern. We respect him & we are with him," the former finance minister said.
"Until Friday and beyond, let's hope the lamp of liberty will shine bright and illuminate the whole country," he said, suggesting that the probe agencies should not arrest him until the apex court decides on his bail plea.
"I will respect the law even if applied with an unequal hand by probe agencies," he said reading out from a written statement and flanked by several senior Congress leaders. He did not take any questions from journalists and left the venue after finishing his statement.
Supreme Court Justice N V Ramana said
P Chidambaram’s plea seeking the Delhi High Court’s order dismissing his request for pre-arrest bail in the INX media case will be placed before the Chief Justice of India to consider for an urgent listing.
Appearing for the Enforcement Director and Central Bureau of Investigation, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a Supreme Court bench that it is a case of money laundering of monumental magnitude.
Justice Ramana told Chidambaram’s lawyer Kapil Sibal that the case will be sent to CJI Ranjan Gogoi and he will pass the order.
The former finance minister continued to remain missing as he faces arrest after the Delhi High Court on Tuesday night refused to grant him protection. CBI and ED officials went to Chidambaram's Jor Bagh residence one after the other, but could not meet him as he was not at home.
a lookout notice has been issued against the Congress leader and all airports, immigration desks have been put on high alert.
Chidambaram's lawyer said the lookout notice stems from political vendetta as the former Minister "is not a flight risk".
Sibal told the top court the high court had also refused to grant any protection from arrest to Chidambaram to enable him to approach the apex court
"The matter should be heard. I (Chidamabaram) should not be arrested in the meanwhile," Sibal said.
Sibal told the court that at 2 am on Wednesday the probe agencies have pasted a notice on Chidambaram's house that he has to appear before them within two hours.
(With input from agencies)