Congress MP Karti Chidambaram has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla regarding his questioning by the CBI in a visa bribery case. Karti, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, dubbed his grilling as a 'gross breach of Parliamentary Privilege' by the probe agency.
Karti said that he has become the 'victim of a grossly illegal and patently unconstitutional action'. He said that over the course of the past few years, "my family and I have become targets of a relentless campaign by the present government and its investigating agencies who are trying to silence our voices of dissent by foisting one fake case after another".
"Such targeted intimidation of a Member of the House amounts to a breach of privilege," he wrote in the letter.
Karti said that the CBI in the garb of conducting an investigation in an 11-year-old decision of the government in which "I have absolutely no involvement raided my residence in Delhi".
"In the course of this so-called raid, certain offers of the CBI seized my highly confidential and sensitive personal notes and papers pertaining to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information and Technology, to which I am a member," he said.
Karti appears before CBI for second day
Meanwhile, Karti appeared before the CBI for the second day on Friday to answer queries related to allegations of bribes in the issuance of visas to 263 Chinese workers in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Minister, officials said.
Speaking to reporters, he said, "I have written to Lok Sabha Speaker that there has been a gross breach of Parliamentary Privilege by the CBI. My parliamentary committee papers that pertain to IT Committee have been taken during search and seizure. No one has the right to take these confidential papers."
The CBI has booked Karti and others in an FIR related to allegations of Rs 50 lakh being paid as bribe to Karti and his close associate S Bhaskararaman by a top executive of Vedanta group company Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd (TSPL), which was setting a power plant in Punjab for re-issuance of project visa to 263 Chinese workers employed there. The agency has already arrested Bhaskararaman in connection with the case.
The FIR has stated that the work for setting up the power project was being executed by a Chinese company and was running behind schedule. A TSPL executive had sought re-issuance of project visa for the Chinese workers for which he allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh as a bribe, according to the FIR.