- Karti tells court: "I'm not a Hindustan leaver but Hindustan returner"
- Karti: Arrest was "malafide" since he had travelled abroad with court nod
- Karti was arrested by CBI on Wednesday from Chennai airport
Karti Chidambaram is accused of clearing foreign investments worth around Rs 300 crore in television company INX Media in exchange for bribes back in 2007. Investigators say he used the influence of his father P Chidambaram, who was then the Union Finance Minister. The former minister and his son have called the arrest "political vendetta".
"I'm not a Hindustan leaver but Hindustan returner," Karti Chidambaram told the court through his advocate, Congress lawmaker Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in what was seen as a dig at the BJP over the Rs 11,500 crore PNB fraud. The accused in the case, celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, has fled India and the Congress has been targeting the Narendra Modi government over the issue since the matter became public.
Karti Chidambaram was arrested on Wednesday from Chennai airport, moments after he landed after a visit to the UK. Earlier this month, the Madras High Court had given him permission to go abroad for business. On an earlier occasion too, he visited the UK for his daughter's admission with permission from the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, Karti Chidambaram told the court that he was being targetted in the issue since he was the son of a politician. "The CBI petition is misrepresentation of the facts on my visits abroad. I went abroad with due permission from court... I did not receive any fresh summons since my return," he said.
He also said he had fully cooperated with the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and has undergone 22-hour questioning in the case.
"My reward for compliance of summons is arrest... Arrest is most draconian in a person's liberty. Is the CBI making the arrest to show to their bosses?" his lawyer said.
The agency countered the argument, saying Karti Chidambaram had cooperated only under the directions of the Supreme Court and had not submitted his itinerary before going abroad. It sought two weeks' custody of the 46-year-old businessman so he could be properly questioned in the case.
The agency also told the court that they had "many things, but could noy say it in open court".
The court allowed a day's custody to the CBI.
Last week, Karti Chidambaram had appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on the Enforcement Directorate's summons of March 1 and expressing apprehension that he might be arrested on his return from London.
His father P Chidambaram had filed another appeal, saying he was the "real target" of the BJP-led Central government and his fundamental rights were being violated.