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Will fight malicious, false accusations: Karti Chidambaram issues statement

Will fight malicious, false accusations: Karti Chidambaram issues statement

Chidambaram wrote, "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."

CBI had booked Karti Chidambaram on charges of illegally obtaining visas for over 250 Chinese nationals when his father, P Chidambaram, was Home Minister in 2011. CBI had booked Karti Chidambaram on charges of illegally obtaining visas for over 250 Chinese nationals when his father, P Chidambaram, was Home Minister in 2011.

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on Tuesday issued an official statement criticising the government using its agencies to arrest him in connection with a Rs 50 lakh alleged bribery case for clearing visas of 263 Chinese nationals working at Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd in Punjab.

The statement comes ahead of his return to India tonight from his 2 weeks' trip to UK and Europe.

According to the statement, Chidambaram wrote, "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 added.

Denying allegation, Chidambaram further stated, "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."

"Further, I know no person who has the authority to issue such visas. I have also never known the person (now deceased) whose alleged action triggers this charge. He has never been examined by the CBI, and now, never can be. -In the last 7 years, I've been raided 6 times, without cause or evidence by the central government's agencies, which have sadly become a single party's machinery to fulfil its political vendetta," he added.

Read the whole statement here: 

Meanwhile, the bribery incident, in which Chidambaram is alleged accused, is reported to have taken place in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union home minister.

A Delhi court last week had directed the CBI to give a three-day prior notice to Karti Chidambaram if it required to arrest him

The agency had alleged that S Bhaskaraman, Karti's Chartered Accountant arrested in the case, was approached by Vikas Makharia, the then associate vice president of Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd (TSPL), for the reissue of project visas for 263 Chinese workers working at the Mansa-based power plant which was in the process of being set up.

The FIR, registered by the CBI on May 14, alleged that Makharia approached Karti through his close associate/frontman Bhaskararaman, the officials said.

They devised a back-door way to defeat the purpose of the ceiling (maximum of project visas permissible to the company's plant) by granting permission to reuse 263 project visas allotted to the said Chinese company's officials, they said.

Project visas were a special type of visa introduced in 2010 for the power and steel sector for which detailed guidelines were issued during P Chidambaram's tenure as the home minister but there was no provision for the reissue of project visas, the FIR alleged.

As per prevalent guidelines, deviation in rare and exceptional cases could be considered and granted only with the approval of the Home Secretary. However, in view of the above circumstances, the deviation in terms of reuse of project visas is likely to be approved by the then Home Minister, it further alleged.

On August 17, 2011, Makharia, on being directed by Bhaskararaman, sent a copy of the above letter dated July 30, 2011, to him through e-mail which was forwarded to Karti Bhakaskararaman after discussion with P Chidambaram, the then Home Minister, demanded an illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh for ensuring the approval, the FIR alleged.

It alleged that the payment of the said bribe was routed from TSPL to Karti and Bhaskararaman through Mumbai-based Bell Tools Ltd with payments camouflaged under two invoices raised for consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese visas related works.

Makharia had later thanked Karti and Bhaskararaman on email, it added.

(With PTI inputs)

Published on: May 24, 2022, 6:43 PM IST
Posted by: Aparna Banerjea, May 24, 2022, 6:30 PM IST