[dropcap]A[/dropcap]FTER the Supreme Court refused to give immediate relief to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, he made an appearance before media at the Congress party’s headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday evening. He asked probe agencies to “respect the law”, saying he was “not hiding from the law but seeking protection of the law”.
“I will respect law even if applied with an unequal hand by probe agencies,” he read out from a hand-written statement but refused to take questions from the journalists.
Chidambaram who is facing the threat of arrest in INX Media case was denied anticipatory bail by Delhi High Court yesterday. Earlier today, the apex court refused urgent hearing on his plea for the anticipatory bail. “I will wait till Friday, when the Supreme Court has decided to hear my plea,” he told media.
“I believe that the foundation of a democracy is liberty, most precious article of the Constitution is Article 21 that guarantees life and liberty. If I’m asked to choose between life and liberty, I shall unhesitatingly choose liberty,” he said, adding that “To win freedom we must struggle. To preserve freedom too we must struggle.”
“I was accused of running away from justice. “These are lies being spread by the pathological liars. On the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice,” said Chidambaram, flanked by his party colleagues and senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi.
He added: “I was summoned by the CBI and then the ED for questioning. I sought interim protection against the arrest from the competent court, which was granted to me. I have enjoyed the interim protection for the last 13-15 months before the matter was finally heard.”
Asserting that the FIR recorded by the CBI does not impute him of any wrongdoing, he defended: “Yet there is a widespread impression that grave offences have been committed by me and that my son and I have committed that offences. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
“I was not hiding. I was working with my lawyers throughout the night and today to prepare the papers. We could finish our work only this morning,” he told the press conference, before returning to his Jor Bagh residence.