07:34 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Parliament Of India

    Former Indian Minister on the Run After Evading Arrest in Corruption, Money Laundering Cases

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    Former Finance and Home Minister of India Palaniappan Chidambaram, who was denied clemency by top courts of India in corruption and money laundering cases, has successfully evaded arrest since Tuesday, 20 August.

    Two Indian investigative agencies – the Central Bureau of Investigation and the economic intelligence agency - Enforcement Directorate, had sought to take Chidambaram into custody for questioning on Tuesday. Since they weren't able to find him, the investigative agencies posted a notice outside his home.

    Chidambaram is facing charges for allegedly facilitating foreign investment in a media company while he was Finance Minister in the former Congress Party-lead coalition government, when he provided his son with financial favours.  

    The former cabinet minister had approached the High Court of Delhi for anticipatory bail, but the court rejected his plea, saying “the petitioner is the kingpin or key conspirator in the case,” leaving it open for the investigative agencies to take him into custody.

    On Wednesday, the Enforcement Directorate issued a ‘Look Out Notice’, to prevent Chidambaram from leaving the country.

    The former minister, through a team of India's top lawyers, approached the Supreme Court of India for relief against the High Court order. However, he has not been granted a hearing so far.

    “The antecedents of the Petitioner are impeccable. He has never been an accused of any offence. There is no possibility of his fleeing from justice," Chidambaram’s lawyers argued in the top court, adding "custodial interrogation is not at all warranted".

    Meanwhile, the opposition Congress Party has voiced their support for Chidambaram.

    ​Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the Enforcement Directorate to character assassinate Chidambaram. His sister and General Secretary of the Congress Party Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “the truth is inconvenient to cowards, so he is being shamefully hunted down”.

    ​Chidambaram, who is strident critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies, is also embroiled in an aviation scandal.

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    Tags:
    India's Central Bureau of Investigation, Supreme Court of India, money laundering, corruption, Palaniappan Chidambaram, New Delhi, India
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