Under fire for conducting searches at DMK leader M K Stalin's house, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday tried to defend its action saying it was "strictly" in accordance with procedures and there was no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual.
Amid uproar and displeasure made evident by political leaders, the CBI team pulled out of the residence of Stalin and its top brass even suggested that the team was never intended to go inside the residence.
The CBI came out with a statement explaining why the searches were carried out in a case of imported vehicles registered. It said that a case had been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including criminal conspiracy, forgery, cheating and abuse of official position.
It pertains to a complaint that about 33 vehicles had been imported in Tamil Nadu and out of these, certain vehicles are believed to have been imported and subsequently sold in violation of import provisions causing loss of up to Rs 48 crore to the exchequer, the CBI said.
The case has been registered against an importer and a senior intelligence officer of the directorate of revenue intelligence who allegedly did not take any action even after identification of vehicles at the premises of certain users and unknown others.
During the searches conducted at 18 locations on Wednesday, 17 imported cars have been located and seized, the statement said, and added that searches are continuing. "The CBI wishes to clarify that the operation was strictly in accordance with procedures and there was no intention whatsoever to target any particular individual," the statement said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh distanced the government from the CBI action, saying it had "no role" in the development and was "upset" over it.
Union Ministers P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath "strongly disapproved" of the agency's action while the Opposition slammed the government accusing it of misusing the CBI.