Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met party colleague and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Tihar jail in Delhi this morning, hours before the Supreme Court hears his bail petition in the INX media corruption case.
P Chidambaram's son Karti said the meeting lasted for about 50 minutes. "Today Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met my father. This sends out a very strong message that the Congress party is with him," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The 74-year-old leader was first arrested in the INX Media money laundering case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 and was granted bail by the Supreme Court on October 22. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the case on October 16, and is in judicial custody till November 27 under the order of a trial court.
Today, the top court will hear his petition in the corruption case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. The former union minister has been accused of creating a web of shell companies and several foreign bank accounts. Karti Chidambaram said he hopes for justice from the Supreme Court. "My father has been in jail for the past 99 days," he said.
The probe agency on Tuesday opposed Mr Chidambaram's bail plea in the top court claiming that he used the "influential office" of finance minister for "personal gains" and laundered proceeds of crime to conceal "tainted money". In a counter affidavit filed in court, the ED alleged that Mr Chidambaram is not entitled for bail as sufficient evidence has come on record that he has been "indulging in destruction of evidence" and influencing the witnesses, PTI reported.
Mr Chidambaram, being a former cabinet minister, is "very intelligent and influential man", the probe agency claimed.
The senior Congress leader had moved the court challenging the Delhi High Court November 15 verdict which denied him bail in the corruption case.
On Monday, Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tiwari had also met the former Union Minister in the jail to "express solidarity" with him.
"Today, the Constitution's basic commitment to liberty is being violated. 98 days today...for what? Rs. 9.96 lakh, which is not even a controversial issue since there is a cheque involved...it sends a very bad signal...if we treat our respectable, upright citizens this way, it sends a very wrong signal to the world. We came to show our solidarity with him," Mr Tharoor told reporters after meeting Chidambaram.