ED accuses P Chidambaram of destroying evidence

Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram. (PTI photo)

The Enforcement Directorate has accused former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram before the Supreme Court of being in touch with witnesses even during the custody and influencing them. It charged the senior Congress leader of destroying the evidence while claiming that investigation has shown a “clear case of money laundering with the involvement of petitioner, his son, Karti and co-conspirators”.

The agency opposed before the court a bail plea made by Chidambaram in connection with the INX media scam case, saying brazenness and impunity with which the high office was misused does not entitle him any relief. The Delhi HC had on November 15 rightly dismissed his bail application, based on the basis of broad probabilities that the accused has prima facie committed the offence, it said.

In an affidavit, the ED said three persons were summoned during his ED custody. Two persons did not appear and the third one refused to be confronted with the petitioner giving in writing that he apprehended serious consequences.

In touch with witnesses

“It is surprising that the petitioner claimed, “no one has said a word against him.” Such a statement clearly establishes that the petitioner is in touch with the other persons being interrogated and has influence over them,” it said.

The ED claimed that several changes were made to the shareholding pattern of shell companies where proceeds of crime were deposited, in order to conceal real ownership.

The statement of the witnesses—having evidentiary value—has been recorded under section 50 of PMLA, which can be shown to the court in a sealed cover, it said. Since the investigation was at a very crucial stage, revealing names of witnesses may hamper it and could affect their well-being, it added.

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