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INX Media Case: All that former FM P Chidambaram said an hour before his arrest

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INX Media Case: All that former FM P Chidambaram said an hour before his arrest

An hour before he was arrested by CBI sleuths dramatically from his residence on Wednesday, former finance minister P Chidambaram had refuted all the charges against him in the INX Media case at a press conference. The senior Congress leader was not seen since the High Court denied him protection from arrest on Tuesday.

"I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law. On the contrary, I was seeking the protection of the law. I was accused of running away from justice. On the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice,” Chidambaram said.
The leader added that if he was asked to choose between life and liberty, he "shall unhesitatingly choose liberty".
Shortly after he concluded the press conference and reached his home, high drama was seen at his residence as the CBI officers scaled walls to gain entry into his house and arrest the leader.
Here's everything he said at the press conference:
“I believe that the foundation of a democracy is liberty. The most precious article of the constitution of India is article 21 that guarantees life and liberty. If I am asked to choose between life and liberty, I shall unhesitatingly choose liberty. Why are the years up to 1947 called the years of freedom struggle? Because to win freedom, we must struggle. To preserve freedom too, we must struggle. In the last 24 hours, much has happened that has caused concern to some and confusion to many."
“My statement today is to dispel that concern and confusion. 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 of any offence. In fact, there is no charge sheet filed by either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) before a competent court. Moreover, the first information report (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 offenses, nothing can be further from the truth. These are lies spread by pathological liars."
“When I was summoned by the CBI and then the ED to appear for questioning, I naturally sought interim protection against arrest from the competent court. I was granted interim protection by orders of the High Court (HC) dated May 31, 2018, and July 25, 2018. I have enjoyed the interim protection for the last 13-15 months. The matters were finally heard on January 25, 2019, and judgement reserved."
“Now, after seven months, yesterday the HC is pleased to dismiss the pre-arrest bail applications. My lawyers, who are also my dear friends and who are present here, advised me to move the Supreme Court (SC). On my behalf, they did so yesterday evening and today. They appealed repeatedly to the honourable SC to list their appeals for hearing urgently and in the meanwhile grant me interim protection."
“While my lawyers, all senior counsel, were moving the SC, other lawyers and I worked through the night last night to prepare the papers. We completed the task only this morning and immediately filed the appeals in the SC. I was working alongside my lawyers the whole of last night. Today throughout the day, I was with my lawyers following the proceedings in the SC. I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law. On the contrary, I was seeking the protection of the law. I was accused of running away from justice. On the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice."
"My lawyers have told me that despite their pleas, the cases were not listed for hearing today nor will they be listed tomorrow but will be listed only on Friday. I bow down to the orders of the honourable SC. Between now and Friday I shall walk with a clear conscience and my head held high. I shall respect the law even if it is applied with an unequal hand by the investigating agencies. In the name of freedom, I can only hope and pray that the investigating agencies will also respect the law. In the present circumstances, respect for the law can mean only one thing, await the decision of the honourable SC on Friday."
“Some days ago, when I spoke in parliament, I had said that every judge in this country will uphold the liberty of a citizen. I had said that the collective conscience and the institutional memory of the court as a venerable institution will guide all judges of the country. As much as I believe in liberty, I also believe in the wisdom of our judges. So, friends, until Friday and beyond let us hope that the lamp of liberty will shine bright and illuminate the whole country."
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