Apprehend coercive action by agencies, Chidambaram to SC

New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that he apprehends "coercive" methods by both investigating agencies - the CBI and the ED - to elicit responses, and also blamed the political dispensation attempting to stage-monitor the investigations.

In an affidavit filed in the court, he said that "the contention that custodial interrogation is qualitatively different merely because the accused happens to be in custody of the respondent (investigating agency) and such an averment suggests that some coercive methods maybe used by the respondent to elicit responses".

Chidambaram urged the apex court to call for the said statements and peruse the same, in order to be satisfied that the investigation is being conducted in a "free and fair manner or whether the same is being stage monitored by the political dispensation".

Commenting on the conduct of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, he claimed, in the affidavit, they have already arrived at this conclusion that a web of shell companies both in India and in other countries was created by him, along with others. If this was the case of the agency concerned, then, at least, they could have confronted him with the alleged acts during the three occasions when he was interrogated earlier.

Chidambaram went on record to his claim that he has "no account or any property abroad".

He said that he was last questioned on January 21 this year, and after that, he has not been summoned yet.

He also claimed that the Delhi High Court has misapplied the law and rendered an order behind his back. Therefore, it erroneously rejected his prayer for anticipatory bail.

"Consequently, it is even more hazardous to allow custody since that would jeopardize the constitutional right of the accused under Article 21 of the Constitution," he said in the affidavit.

Chidambaram submitted that the term "Crucial Stage of Investigation" has been used by the ED for more than two years, but till date, no complaint has been filed.

He was interrogated on three occasions - December 19, 2018 and January 1& 21, 2019 -yet no questions were put to him. Therefore, he termed the allegations baseless without any supporting documents.

The hearing on the matter will continue on Wednesday.

--IANS

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