Politics

CBI Raids Homes of Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Son

Palaniappan Chidambaram. Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

Palaniappan Chidambaram. Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the homes of former finance minister P. Chidambaram and his son on Tuesday, in what it said was a probe into suspected criminal misconduct related to approvals of investment deals.

A total of at least 14 locations in Chidambaram’s home city of Chennai were searched by the CBI, India’s main federal crime-fighting agency. Official sources in Delhi said the searches were spread across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Gurugram.

A CBI spokesman in New Delhi confirmed a raid was taking place at the home of Chidambaram’s son, Karti, but gave no further details. Chidambaram, who served in the Congress government that was voted out of office in 2014, declined to comment when asked about the raids by Reuters.

The agency had recently registered a case regarding Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to a company, INX Media, in which it is alleged that favours were given when P Chidambaram was the finance minister. An FIR was filed in the matter on Monday, the Indian Express reported.

Chidambaram has been an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. He has also been the target of litigation brought by Subramanian Swamy, a prominent lawmaker in Modi’s BJP, alleging corruption in a 2006 telecoms merger.

Tom Vadakkan, a Congress party spokesman, said the raids were an attempt to malign Chidambaram’s reputation and that they had found no incriminating evidence.

“This is clearly a fishing expedition launched by the Modi government against Chidambaram,” Vadakkan told Reuters.

“Should I stop writing about the government?” Chidambaram asked after the raids. “I mean…(this is) absolute nonsense.”

Chidambaram, a staunch critic of the Narendra Modi-led BJP regime, has said in the past that his voice against the Centre cannot be silenced by launching cases against him or his son Karti, also a Congress leader.

(With agency inputs)