Former Union minister P Chidambaram's residence in posh South Delhi witnessed high drama as the senior leader - sought by investigative agencies for nearly 24 hours in connection with a corruption case -- appeared at the Congress headquarters this evening. As he reached home after addressing the media, teams of CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, though caught off guard, had converged outside. In their attempt to make their way inside the house, the CBI men were even seen scaling the boundary wall and running along the roof in full view of television cameras.
In his short address to the media at the party office, Mr Chidambaram pointed out that he has not been named an accused in the case. But he said he has faith in the law "even if it is applied by an unequal hand" by the investigative agencies.
"Respect for the law can mean only one thing -- await (the Supreme Court's) decision on Friday... Until Friday, let's hope the lamp of liberty will shine bright," he said in what was seen as a message to the investigative agencies. Friday is when his appeal to the Supreme Court for an anticipatory bail will be heard.
"I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law... I was pursuing the law," said the 73-year-old, who was not seen in public since the Delhi High Court refused to protect him from arrest on Tuesday. "I was working alongside my lawyers whole of last night... and the whole day," he explained.
Since Tuesday evening, the CBI visited his residence in Delhi twice and two lookout circulars -- meant to stop a person from leaving the country -- have been issued against him by the agency and the Enforcement Directorate.
In his petition before the top court today, the former minister argued that his antecedents are "impeccable" and there is no possibility of him "fleeing from justice". But the top court refused an urgent hearing on technical grounds and a fresh date has been given.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment in the INX Media company in 2007, as Finance Minister in the Congress-led UPA government, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for his role.