Congress MP Karti Chidambaram appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, today to join the investigation into an alleged Chinese visa scam case. Mr Chidambaram is accused of taking bribe to help grant visas to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the home minister.
"Every case that has been filed against me is a bogus case. One is bogus... another is more bogus. This one is most bogus," said Mr Chidambaram outside the CBI headquarters in Delhi.
"I have not facilitated a single Chinese national in getting a visa," he added.
Earlier on May 17, the CBI had arrested Karti Chidambaram's close associate S Bhaskarraman in the case.
Later in the day, the Congress leader was granted protection from arrest till May 30 in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.
Earlier in the CBI case, the court had said that if the central agency intends to arrest him, it needs to give notice 72 hours before for him to take appropriate legal recourse.
A special court had ordered Karti Chidambaram to join the CBI investigation within 16 hours of his arrival from the UK and Europe where he had gone with permission from it and the Supreme Court.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of taking Rs 50 lakh as bribe from a top executive of Vedanta group company Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd. (TSPL), which was setting a power plant in Punjab.
According to the CBI, the company paid the bribe for re-issuance of project visas for 263 Chinese workers of the Chinese company that was executing the power project.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also filed a money laundering case in the alleged Chinese visa scam case involving Congress MP.
Karti Chidambaram has denied all allegations and said "if this is not harassment, not a witch-hunt, then what is."
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Karti had said, "I am heading back home today, as was planned when I left 2 weeks ago for a work/ family-visit trip to UK and Europe. It does not intimidate me that the central government is once again using its agencies to accuse me of a malicious and completely fabricated charge." "Previously, the agencies have gone after me based on the statement of an undertrial murder suspect. Now, they are basing their bogus charges on the alleged actions of a deceased person, whom I have never met. I intend to continue to fight every one of their motivated attempts to target my father through me," he said.
The MP said, "For what it's worth, however, I firmly state that I am not associated with this visa issue directly, indirectly, vicariously or even telepathically! The allegations against me by the CBI are ludicrous, to say the least. I categorically deny all of them." The agency has alleged that Bhaskararaman was approached by Vikas Makharia, the then associate vice president of TSPL, for the reissue of project visas to 263 Chinese workers working at the Mansa-based power plant.
With inputs from PTI