New Delhi, Jan 13: The Congress on Saturday attacked the Centre led by NDA government for raids conducted at former home minister P Chidambaram‘ s residence in the national capital. Chidambaram alleged the enforcement directorate has no jurisdiction to investigate under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. ED also conducted raids at properties of Karti’s Chidambaram, P Chidambaram’s son, in Chennai in connection with INX media bribery case.
“There is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by CBI or any agency. I anticipated they’ll search premises in Chennai again but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (in Delhi) & officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not.”
“They (ED officials) searched & found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by govt in the Parliament, few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under PMLA,” ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying.
Commenting on the recent raids, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the action was not surprising. “Everyday PM Modi and his government use ED and CBI as captive puppets to seek revenge from the opposition,” said Surjewala.
The ED is investigating the circumstances in which the deal was granted an approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram.
The ED has alleged that Karti has “disposed” of a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company “to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013”.
ED official charged that Karti had “also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment” under the PMLA.
The agency said FIPB approval in INX media bribery case was granted in March, 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore. The suspicion arose when P Chidambaram approved Foreign Direct Investment of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore). The approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was required for such investment.