Former Indian finance minister Chidambaram arrested in corruption case
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Police arrested former Indian finance minister P. Chidambaram late on Wednesday in relation to alleged corruption and money laundering, a day after the Delhi High Court rejected his application to seek exemption from arrest. Chidambaram was arrested by federal police on a warrant issued by a competent court, a spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said.
The CBI and Enforcement Directorate – India’s financial crime fighting agency – have alleged that Chidambaram misused his official position while he was finance minister. Officials have also alleged Chidambaram was involved in money laundering and conspired around the approval of a telecommunications deal in 2006.
Chidambaram denied any mischieves, speaking at a news conference hours before his arrest. Chidambaram, who served twice as finance minister in the previous Congress party-led coalition that ran India for a decade, has approached India’s top court seeking to appeal the High Court ruling rejecting his application to prevent an arrest.
The Supreme Court is due to hear his petition on Friday. “Between now and Friday, I shall walk with a clear conscience and my head held high,” Chidambaram told reporters. After the press conference, in dramatic scenes televised across Indian media, police officers reached Chidambaram’s residence and jumped over the wall to enter the premises. He was then taken away in a car that his party supporters tried to stop briefly, local media reported.
Chidambaram, 72, a Supreme Court lawyer, has been a vocal critic of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies.