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What Chidambaram said in his defence

August 21, 2019 23:41 IST

IMAGE: Congress leader P Chidambaram addressing a press conference with party leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi at AICC HQ, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

Making a dramatic appearance before the media at the All India Congress Committee headquarters, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that he would await the verdict of the Supreme Court on his bail plea on Friday and respect the law even if applied 'with an unequal hand by the investigating agencies'.

Addressing media persons after he failed to get a hearing in the apex court, he read out from a prepared statement and rejected the charges against him and his son in the INX Media case and said that the first information report does not impute any wrongdoing by him and there was no chargesheet either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or Enforcement Directorate before the competent authority.

The former Union home minister expressed the hope that the investigative agencies will also respect the law.

 

"In the name of freedom, I can only hope and pray that investigating agencies will also respect the law in the present circumstances and await for the decision of SC on Friday," he said.

He said lies were being spread by 'pathological liars'.

"In the last 24 hours, much has happened that has caused concern to some and confusion to many. My statement today is to dispel that concern. In the INX Media case, I have not been accused of any offence nor is anyone else including any member of my family accused of any offence," he said.

"In fact, there is no charge sheet filed by the CBI or the ED before the competent court. Moreover, the FIR recorded by the CBI does not impute to me any wrongdoing yet there is a widespread impression that grave offences have been committed and I and my son have committed that offence.

"Nothing can be further from the truth. These are lies spread by pathological liars," he said.

Dismissing reports that he was hiding from the law, Chidambaram said the whole of last (Tuesday) night and today (Wednesday) he was working with his lawyers and preparing the petition.

He said despite impatient pleas of his lawyers, the cases 'were not listed for hearing today, neither they will be listed tomorrow but will be listed on Friday'.

"I bow down to the orders of the Supreme Court. Between now and Friday I shall work with the clear conscious and my head held high. I shall respect the law even if it is applied with an unequal hand by the investigating agencies," he said.

The Congress leader, who is a Rajya Sabha MP, said he was aghast that he was accused of hiding from the law.

"On the contrary, I was seeking the protection of the law. I was accused of running away from justice. On the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice," he said.

Chidambaram said he believes in the wisdom of judges.

"Some days ago when I spoke in Parliament, I had said that every judge in the country will uphold the liberty of the citizen. I had said that the collective conscience and the institutional memory of the court as a venerable institution will guide all judges of the country. As much as I believe in liberty, I also believe in the wisdom of our judges," he said.

"So until Friday and beyond, let us hope that the lamp of liberty will shine bright and illuminate the whole country," he said.

Chidambaram said when he was summoned by the CBI and then the ED to appear for questioning, he sought interim protection against arrest and was granted interim protection by the high court.

"I have enjoyed it for the last 13 to 15 months. The matter was finally heard on January 25 and the judgment reserved. After seven months, the high court was pleased to dismiss my pre-arrest bail application.

"My lawyers advised me to move the Supreme Court. On my behalf, they did so yesterday evening and today. They appealed to Supreme Court to list it urgently and meanwhile grant me interim protection," he said.

"While senior counsel was moving the Supreme Court, I worked with my lawyers through the night last night to prepare the papers. Today throughout the day I was with my lawyers following the proceedings in the Supreme Court," he said.

Chidambaram said the most precious Article of the Constitution of India is Article 21 that guarantees life and liberty.

"If I was asked to choose between life and liberty, I should unhesitatingly choose liberty. Why are years up to 1947 called the years of freedom struggle because to win the freedom we must struggle, to preserve the freedom we must struggle," he said.

Source: ANI
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