22 August 2019
New Delhi: In an unusual move, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram himself spoke in the CBI court and defended himself in the INX Media case.
A seasoned lawyer himself, Chidambaram said no question by the investigating agency was left unanswered by him.
He stated that no question was posed to him on the supposed illegal payment being made to him. During the court hearing, the prosecution said the investigation has revealed that a payment of $5 million was made by Indrani Mukherjea.
The former Finance Minister informed the court that the only question CBI asked him was whether he has an overseas bank account, to which he answered in the negative. However, Chidambaram answered in the affirmative to the CBI question about the existence of an overseas bank account of his son.
Chidambaram argued briefly, despite having a battery of lawyers such as Abhishek Singhvi and Kapil Sibal.
Prosecution lawyer and he Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta objected to the former FM arguing for himself. Mehta said Chidambaram should brief his counsel and speak through them. Taking a dig at Singhvi and Sibal, Mehta said Chidambaram should argue without any counsel if he doesn't feel them fit to do so.
Chidambaram is accused of granting clearance under the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for INX Media when he was the Finance Minister during UPA, in exchange for alleged bribes paid to his son Karti Chidambaram. He was arrested on Wednesday night by the CBI. The court on Thursday gave four-day custody to CBI to question him in the case.