Chidambaram in jail for 100 days: Karti asks if a pre-trial remand should extend this long

Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram   | Photo Credit:


Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed her solidarity with the former union minister when she told Congress MPs that it was “sheer vindictiveness that has kept him in prison”


As former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram spent his 100th day in custody on Thursday, his son and Lok Sabha member, Karti Chidambaram, said “independent legal experts should debate if a pre-trial remand for investigation should extend this long”.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi too expressed her solidarity with the former union minister when she told Congress MPs that it was “sheer vindictiveness that has kept Chidambaram in prison for 100 days”.

“The environment in the country is such that not many people are willing to comment in public. While many come to me and say privately, there is a great reluctance to say it publicly,” Mr. Karti said in an interview with The Hindu.

Following allegations of corruption in the INX Media case, the former finance minister has been lodged in Tihar Jail. After being in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate arrested him for custodial interrogation.


Even though the Supreme Court gave him bail against the CBI, the Delhi High Court has twice rejected his bail.


“Can you incarcerate someone for 100 days for a pre-trial investigation? And that too for a decision taken by the government?...It is disappointing that the independent legal and Constitutional experts are shying from openly talking about issues concerning individual liberty, right to reputation and freedom,” the former finance minister’s son said.

“People must understand that only a charge-sheet has been submitted by the CBI and this is a public document. The only charge is that a payment of ₹9.96 lakh was received by a company after TDS (tax deducted at source) and an addition of service tax. This is the entire alleged quid pro quo for which he has been kept in remand,” he added.

The Congress Lok Sabha member asked if his father was kept inside a prison to “silence” him from speaking out against the government.

“Is he being incarcerated for genuine investigation or is it to silence his voice? Or, as there are whispers, is it to match a certain number of days? What kind of signal is the government sending?” he asked, without elaborating on the significance of “matching number of days”.

Parallels drawn

The Congress MP, who wrote an emotional letter on his father’s birthday, drew parallels between the cases against the former finance minister and the former Brazilian President Lula, who too was jailed on corruption charges but is now out on bail.

“The more I read about Mr. Lula, the more I realise how there are striking similarities,” he said, and added, “I have now come across the German [term] schadenfreude that conveys the sense of a section of our society — how people derive pleasure from another person’s misfortune.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 2:17:53 AM |

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