Karti who was produced in court said, 'Is the CBI making the arrest to show to their bosses.'
New Delhi: Karti Chidambaram, who was arrested from Chennai airport by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday in connection with a corruption case, told a Delhi court that the arrest was "malafide" since he had travelled abroad with permission from the Madras High Court and had cooperated with investigators so far.
Karti, who was flown to Delhi following his arrest on Wednesday, was produced in Delhi's Patiala court later in the evening.
Through his advocate, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Karti told the court, "I'm not a Hindustan leaver but Hindustan returner."
Karti's statement in the court is seen as a dig at the BJP over the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The accused in the case, celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, has fled India and the Congress has been targeting the Narendra Modi government over the issue since the matter became public.
Karti Chidambaram is accused of clearing foreign investments worth around Rs 300 crore in INX Media in exchange for bribes back in 2007. Investigators say he used the influence of his father P Chidambaram, who was then the Union Finance Minister. The former minister and his son have called the arrest "political vendetta".
Earlier in February, the Madras High Court had given him permission to go abroad for business. On an earlier occasion too, Karti had visited the UK for his daughter's admission with permission from the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, Karti Chidambaram told the court that he was being targetted in the issue since he was the son of a politician. "The CBI petition is misrepresentation of the facts on my visits abroad. I went abroad with due permission from court... I did not receive any fresh summons since my return," he said.
He also said he had fully cooperated with the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and has undergone 22-hour questioning in the case.
"My reward for compliance of summons is arrest... Arrest is most draconian in a person's liberty. Is the CBI making the arrest to show to their bosses?" Karti's lawyer said.
The central investigating agency countered the argument, saying Karti Chidambaram had cooperated only under the directions of the Supreme Court and had not submitted his itinerary before going abroad. It sought 15 days' custody of the 46-year-old businessman so he could be properly questioned in the case.
The agency also told the court that they had "many things, but could not say it in open court".
The court on Wednesday allowed a day's custody to the CBI.