Will respect law, even if applied unevenly: Chidambaram

Will respect law, even if applied unevenly: Chidambaram

Congress leader P Chidambaram addressing a press conference with party leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi at AICC HQ, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019. The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any protection from arrest to Chidambaram in the INX media case. (PTI Photo)

Missing in public since the Delhi High Court cancelled his anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram made a dramatic appearance at the AICC headquarters here to claim innocence in the INX Media case, in which the CBI and ED were seeking his arrest.

At a hurriedly called press conference on Wednesday night, Chidambaram read out a statement in the presence of his lawyers and senior Congress leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, K C Venugopal, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, Abhishek Singhvi and Vivek Tankha.

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“I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law, on the contrary, I was seeking protection of law,” Chidambaram said about reports that he had gone missing apprehending arrest.

He walked out of the AICC after reading out a brief statement and reached his Jorbagh residence a few kilometers away.

Chidambaram said he was with his legal team “working through the whole of the (last) night preparing papers for the appeal”.

He noted that the Supreme Court had listed his special leave petition for hearing on Friday.

“I bow down to the orders of the SC. Between now and Friday, I shall walk with clear conscience and my head held high," Chidambaram said.

"I will respect the law, even if it is applied with an uneven hand by the probe agencies,” Chidambaram said with the entire Congress party standing in support, seeking to project his legal troubles as a result of “speaking truth to power”.

Congress party came out in full support of Chidambaram with top leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot, Shashi Tharoor, issuing statements lauding his “strength of character” for standing up to “persecution and character assassination with courage and conviction”.

“He (Chidambaram) unhesitatingly speaks truth to power and exposes the failures of this government, but the truth is inconvenient to cowards so he is being shamefully hunted down,” Priyanka said.

Hours later, Rahul also came out in support of Chidambaram and accused the Modi government of indulging in character assassination of the former Union Home and Finance Minister.

“I strongly condemn this disgraceful misuse of power,” Rahul said.

A group of Congress workers had gathered outside Chidambaram's residence, shouting slogans against the Modi government.

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