P Chidambaram, DK Shivakumar and more: Major arrests, raids this year
The Opposition parties have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the investigating agencies to intimidate their leaders or divert the attention of people from real issues.Updated: Sep 04, 2019 12:00 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, country’s main anti corruption and anti-money laundering agencies, have arrested or raided several regional and national political leaders in past over three months since the Narendra Modi-led government came back to the power with a thumping majority for a second term. The Opposition parties have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the investigating agencies to intimidate their leaders or divert the attention of people from real issues. The latest arrest in the series is that of Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who is known as a troubleshooter for the party in the state.
HT takes a look at some of the political arrests and raids by CBI and ED this year:
On September 3, the Enforcement Directorate arrested the Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar on the allegations that he indulged in laundering of huge cash through hawala and also using shell companies. Shivakumar came under the scanner of Income Tax department and ED in 2017 when he overlooked the stay of 44 Gujarat MLAs in Bangalore to save them from being poached by BJP during Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. Congress has termed his arrest as “vendetta politics”.
The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested one of the senior most leaders of Congress on August 21 after a dramatic chase, claiming that he indulged in corruption through his son Karti Chidambaram when he was the finance minister of the country. Both CBI and ED were trying to put senior Chidambaram behind the bars for last two years but he got repeated relief till now from the judiciary. Interestingly, after desperately hunting P Chidambaram for almost two years, the CBI on Tuesday informed the court it doesn’t need to question him anymore. The senior Congress leader has been arrested on the basis of a statement from Indrani Mukherjea, who owned INX Media and is now in jail over the killing of her daughter Sheena Bora. The Congress has questioned CBI’s intention while relying on testimony of a murder accused. The arrest last month evoked reaction from various parties and Rahul Gandhi termed it character assassination of P Chidambaram.
Ratul Puri, Madhya Pradesh CM’s nephew and a businessman
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 21 arrested Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri, a former executive director of Moser Baer, in connection with a R354-crore bank fraud case. A Delhi court later sent Puri to six-day custodial interrogation of ED in connection with the fraud case filed by the Central Bank of India. His arrest came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 18 searched six locations, including Moser Baer’s office at Okhla Industrial Area and the residences of its directors, according to an official. ED took the action after lodging a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Puri and others based on CBI’s FIR.
Raids on TDP leader YS Chowdhary
Days after Narendra Modi came back to the power, on June 2, the CBI raided Telegu Desam Party (TDP) leader YS Chowdary in a multi-crore bank fraud case. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had been rallying all the opposition parties against PM Modi before the elections but his party fared badly in the Lok Sabha elections.
Raid on Lawyers’ Collective
Although it’s not a political party, when CBI raided Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover in July second week for alleged violation of FCRA (foreign contribution regulation act), the TMC said that the government was harassing all the voices of opposition. The Lawyers’ Collective claimed it has been targeted by the government for doing human rights work. Jaising was additional solicitor general during UPA-2 and considered close to Sonia Gandhi.
Gayatri Prajapati, Ex-UP minister
In June, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids in former Samajwadi party minister Gayatri Prajapati’s home town in Amethi and Hamirpur in connection with the multi-core alleged mining scam in the Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, A senior CBI official said three premises owned by the family members of Prajapati, who is already in jail since March 2017 on a rape charge, were raided. The CBI’s Delhi unit had registered a case on January 2, 2019 under against 11 people, including a 2008 batch IAS officer and Samajwadi Party legislative council member Ramesh Kumar Mishra. The scam, according to the CBI’s First Information Report, took place between 2012 and 2016.
Raids on SP-BSP leaders when two parties announced collaboration for Lok Sabha election
In January this year, when Mayawati and Akhilesh announced a partnership for Lok Sabha election in the Uttar Pradesh, there were CBI raids on couple of political leaders of both the parties in an alleged illegal mining case. Both the parties slammed the move.
First Published: Sep 04, 2019 11:25 IST