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Gates to Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh Residence Locked, CBI Sleuths Scale Wall to Enter Premises

The team of about 30 CBI sleuths accompanied by Delhi Police officers reached the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram and knocked at the doors for a few minutes before scaling the boundary wall to enter the premises.


Updated:August 21, 2019, 11:57 PM IST
Gates to Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh Residence Locked, CBI Sleuths Scale Wall to Enter Premises
Video grab of a CBI official scaling the wall of Rajya Sabha MP and former Union minister P Chidambaram's residence.

New Delhi: High drama unfolded at former finance minister P Chidambaram's residence at the tony Jor Bagh colony here on Wednesday night as a team of CBI officers scaled the boundary wall of his bungalow to gain entrance while another team tried to make way through the backdoor.

The Rajya Sabha MP, whose whereabouts were not known soon after Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday afternoon in corruption cases, made a surprise appearance at Congress party's Headquarters where he addressed made a brief statement to media professing his innocence.

Some Congress workers had gathered outside the AICC headquarters and raised slogans against the CBI and the government. They later reached the residence of Chidambaram where they continued the sloganeering. Flanked by senior Supreme Court lawyers and senior party colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, he then drove to his residence nearly 10 minutes away from the Congress office. On his trail were CBI and ED officers. A CBI team reached his Jor Bagh residence 115-A within minutes of his return.

With a big media contingent beaming live images of the developments, the CBI team first knocked the gates to gain entry but finding no response, they nimbly scaled the nearly five-ft high walls to gain entry. Once three officers reached inside, they opened the gates to allow other team members waiting outside. Soon a team of officers, identifying themselves as from ED, too arrived at the scene.

Delhi Police personnel were also posted to prevent any adverse law and order situation. Meanwhile, another small team of officials rushed to the backdoor to secure all entry and exit points of the bungalow. A team of about two dozen officers was present at the bungalow with Chidambaram being inside with Sibal and Singhvi.

The CBI officers refused to comment whether they had come to arrest or interrogate Chidambaram. The agency had been seeking Chidambaram's "custodial interrogation" in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of foreign investment clearances to INX Media when he was the finance minister. They said Chidambaram was summoned last year for questioning in the case but he remained evasive in his responses.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant the parliamentarian any protection from arrest by rejecting his plea seeking anticipatory. Swinging into action after the high court order, a team of CBI officers landed at the Jor Bagh residence here to locate him but he was not present.

The agency officials returned after pasting a notice at his residence on Tuesday night asking him to be present before the investigation officer of the case within two hours. Chidambaram did not appear before them.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has listed Chidambaram's petition on Friday without giving him any interim relief in the matter. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.

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