rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Chidambaram rejects BJP charges; denies conflict of interest

Chidambaram rejects BJP charges; denies conflict of interest

Last updated on: December 16, 2011 20:13 IST

Chidambaram rejects BJP charges; denies conflict of interest

     Next

Next

Expressing deep hurt, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday strongly rejected Bharatiya Janata Party's allegation that he had favoured a Delhi-based hotelier, his former client, in withdrawing three FIRs filed against him and dismissed suggestions there was any conflict of interest involved in it.

Chidambaram said since 2004, hotelier S P Gupta had made more than 40 representations to the home ministry requesting to withdraw the three FIRs filed against him, which were also backed by three MPs.

"I feel deeply hurt. I strongly reject completely unfounded allegations of BJP," the home minister, flanked by Home secretary R K Singh and his predecessor G K Pillai, told reporters.

Chidambaram's remarks came against the backdrop of a raging controversy over the withdrawal of three FIRs against S P Gupta, who runs M/s Sunair Hotels Pvt Ltd.

Click NEXT to read further...




     Next

'I don't have any current subsisting interest with any case'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The three FIRs relate to Gupta allegedly misusing the names of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and defrauding a firm - VLS Finance - to the tune of several crores of rupees.

Reports also suggested there was a conflict of interest as Gupta was a client of Chidambaram who fought his cases in the court as a lawyer. The reports also claimed that

Chidambaram as a home minister recommended to the Delhi government to withdraw the FIRs.

However, the Delhi government on Thursday had revoked its earlier decision not to press for prosecution of cases against a hotelier.

Dismissing the opposition charge of conflict of interest, Chidambaram said he can't have life long interest in over 25,000 cases he represented as lawyer in last four decades.

"This is a most ridiculous charge. I don't have any current subsisting interest with any case," he said. "What conflict of interests? A lawyer in his career appears in scores of cases. Does he carry interests in all the cases throughout his life? I may have appeared in one or two cases (during the said time).... But I don't have any current subsisting interest with any case," Chidambaram said.

Click NEXT to read further...




Prev     Next

'Ministry of law gave its view and it was conveyed to Delhi government'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

He said the file related to Gupta's representations came to him only once on May 4, 2011, when he recommended that the home ministry should not give any directions and home ministry may only convey the advice of the ministry of law.

"I have written that MHA should not give direction. We may only convey the advice of ministry of law," he said.

The home minister said Gupta first approached the home ministry on July 12, 2004, when Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil was the home minister, requesting it to withdraw the FIRs against him.

Subsequently, the hotelier made six representations in 2005, 24 representations in 2006, six representations in 2007, two representations in 2008, 10 representations in 2009, four representations in 2010 and a few more representations in 2011.

Fully backing the home minister, former Home Secretary Pillai, during whose tenure the file was processed, said he favoured taking the opinion of the ministry of law which was endorsed by Chidambaram.

"The ministry of law gave its view and it was conveyed to the Delhi government," he said.

Home Secretary Singh said the home minister had seen the file only once (May 4, 2011) and the file had not been submitted to him for orders at any point of time before or after that date.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Former Home Secretary G K Pillai


Prev     Next

'MHA may only convey the advice of the ministry of law'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Asked about the officer concerned writing to the Delhi government that he was doing so with the approval of the home minister, Singh said it was the normal practice in the bureaucracy to take note of the view of the last senior most person who had seen the file.

Singh said in this case, the home minister was the last person to have seen the file and he had written that the MHA should not give any directions and MHA may only convey the advice of the ministry of law.

But due to the bad drafting, the officer concerned has written the letter in a manner which he should not have done, he said.

The advice of the law ministry was obtained on March 18, 2011, and April 20, 2011, and it had advised that it would not be appropriate to take any action under Section 173(8) of the CrPC but the cases may be examined under Section 321 CrPC if the ingredients of that sections are satisfied.

Section 321 CrPC enables the public prosecutor, with the consent of the court, to withdraw from the prosecution. Singh said by letter dated May 9, 2011, the advice of the law ministry was conveyed to the principal secretary (Home), Delhi government, with the suggestion that the FIRs may be scrutinised under Section 321 CrPC.

"The letter was drafted, signed and sent by the director. The draft of the letter was not put up to the joint secretary or home secretary or the home minister...home ministry did not advise the Delhi government to quash the FIRs," he said.


Image: Home Secretary R K Singh

Tags: MHA , Singh , Delhi

Prev     Next

Other Top Slide shows

Prev     More



Tags:

Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.