New Delhi: Asserting his integrity as former Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram has moved the Supreme Court against what he called as a "pernicious onslaught" undertaken by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate against his entire family in the guise of a "farcical investigation".
Chidambaram filed a writ petition in the top court on Friday, seeking to restrain CBI and ED from issuing any summons to him, his son Karti Chidambaram or any other family member in connection with alleged cases of corruption involving grant of Foreign Investment Public Board (FIPB) clearances to two companies, and in the Aircel-Maxis scam.
The limb of the charge in the FIPB case is that Karti received alleged bribe for getting the clearances when his father headed the Board as the Finance Minister.
Recently, Karti has been issued summons repeatedly by CBI and ED in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case and the FIPB clearance in the INX Media case, forcing him to come to the apex court to seek reprieve.
In his petition, Chidambaram has now requested the Supreme Court to seek records of the FIPB clearances that, he said, would establish that the approvals were given in normal course of official business and thus, summons and notices to his son amounted to gross violation of the family's constitutional and legal rights.
"Irreparable harm will be caused unless this Court intervenes and protects the fundamental rights of the Petitioner and the members of his family against a pernicious onslaught undertaken by the respondents," stated Chidambaram's petition.
He pointed out that his son Karti or any other family member was never involved in his working as the Finance Minister and therefore, continuing harassment to his son when he happened to be the "target" must be stopped.
"Anyone who has worked with the petitioner (Chidambaram) knows that no one would dare to influence the petitioner’s decisions. The Petitioner had never allowed any family member of the petitioner or any friend to speak to him or to any officer of the Finance Ministry on any official matter. It is therefore preposterous to suggest that a member of the Petitioner’s family, with or without his knowledge, influenced, by corrupt or illegal means, the six Secretaries who constituted the FIPB," said the petition.
Chidambaram added:" In the discharge of his functions, the petitioner has never allowed any member of his family, including his son, or any other person to interfere with or influence the conduct of official business. The petitioner has, through all his tenures in government, zealously guarded his reputation for integrity and has never allowed any stain on his integrity."
About Karti, Chidambaram's petition stated: "The petitioner can say with absolute certainty that his son had never met any officer connected with the FIPB. Besides, he had no connection with the applicant company (INX Media/INX News)...the entire investigation being conducted by CBI and ED is a total farce and is being made only to malign the name of the petitioner and his son in the eyes of the public."
"The allegations contained in the CBI’s FIR against the Petitioner’s son are totally imaginary, far-fetched and highly improbable. Even on a bare reading of the FIR, it would be clear that the petitioner’s son has been deliberately drawn into a small, routine commercial transaction between two private companies for a paltry sum of Rs 10 lakh," read the petition.
The plea further claimed that CBI and ED have acted without jurisdiction since it was amply clear from the fact that neither Chidambaram nor his son Karti was named in any chargesheet as accused yet summons were routinely being issued against Karti in two cases.
"On account of the continued harassment meted out by the respondents to the petitioner and the members of his family, the respondents have caused extreme harassment, anguish and, most significantly, damage to the image and reputation of the petitioner and the members of his family," said Chidambaram, requesting the Court to protect his fundamental rights of equality, carry on business and dignity.