The family of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday challenged the Narendra Modi government to produce a shred of evidence backing its claim of undisclosed bank accounts or shell company anywhere in the world. In a letter shared by his son Karti, the Chidambaram family said that a "campgain of vilification" can't wipe out the contribution of P Chidambaram, who has been in public life for nearly 50 years.
"We are all income tax assesses. We don not crave for money and have no need to seek it in unlawful ways. We are, therefore, astounded by allegations of properties in multiple countries, multiple bank accounts, numerous shell companies etc. These are chapters plucked out of ghost stories, one day there ghosts will be buried.
"We challenge the government to produce a shred of evidence in support of one undisclosed bank account, one undisclosed property or one shell company anywhere in the world," the statement read.
The former finance minister is accused of misusing his powers to grant “illegals FIPB approvals” to jailed media baron Indrani Mukerjea's INX Media in the exchange of kickbacks allegedly paid to various shell companies floated by his son Karti Chidambaram on the names of his employees and other business associates.
Currently, the Congress leader is in CBI custody. Last week the CBI had arrested him from his residence in Delhi's Hauz Khas area after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him the interim protection from arrest by the CBI.
"While we understand that the motive of the government is to demonise and humiliate P Chidambaram, we are deeply saddened that the media is unable to uphold liberty against calumny. One of the fundamental principles of liberty is: Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," read the statement.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today extended till Wednesday his protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media money laundering case. The top court, however, will continue hearing P Chidambaram's plea seeking protection from the arrest by the porbe agency.