Charges against me not even economic offence – Chidambaram
New Delhi, Sep. 11 (IANS): Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail and challenging a lower court’s order sending him to judicial custody saying the case against him was “political vendetta” as the charges against him do not even make an economic offence nor was there any loss to the exchequer nor was it a bank fraud.
In his application before the court, Chidambaram has argued that no public funds were involved in the case (INX Media case) and it is also not a case of bank fraud of taking money out of the county or defrauding depositors or stealing money from a company.
“In fact, in the present case, Rs 305 crore has come into INX Media (i.e. the investee company) as FDI, well within the approval percentage of 46.21 per cent of equity. Out of this Rs 305 crore, Rs 26 crore was invested in an Indian subsidiary company (namely INX News),” said the petition which went on to claim that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board was chaired by the Secretary, Economic Affairs and included four other secretaries (industry, commerce, external affairs and overseas Indian affairs) and the secretary of the administrative ministry concerned.
The petition said that the minister (Chidambaram) approved the file on the recommendations of the FIPB and secretary, Economic Affairs.
The petition said that in CBI custody, Chidambaram was confronted with the then Under Secretary R. Prasad, OSD P.K Bagga, Director Prabodh Saxena, Joint Secretary Anup Pujari and Additional Secretary Sindhushree Khullar, all of whom were involved in processing the FIPB file.
“All of the aforesaid persons have affirmed the correctness of the approval granted to INX Media. Neither of them has alleged any illegality in the approval. Further, neither of them has alleged that the Petitioner (Chidambaram) had given them any directions regarding processing of the file pertaining to INX Media,” said the petition.
The petition also said that Chidambaram cannot tamper with the evidence as all the files are with the government and claimed that he was the victim of political vendetta.