Chennai/New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday launched searches at multiple premises linked to former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with alleged favours granted in FIPB clearance to a firm.
Official sources said in Delhi that the searches were spread across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Gurugram.
The raids are also taking place at the Nungambakkam residence of P Chidambaram in Chennai, a senior police official said in Chennai.
Unconfirmed reports said the raids were also on at Karaikudi, the hometown of Chidambaram.
The agency had on Monday registered a case regarding Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media, run by its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea, in 2007 which it is alleged that favours were given when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
The case has been registered through INX Media's director Indrani Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea, Karti Chidambaram, Chess Management Services (a company of Karti), Advantage Strategic Consulting Limited through its Director Padma Vishwanathan.
It has levelled the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means, to influence public servant and criminal misconduct.
Asked about the raids, the former union minister said, "You should have called your CBI friends...Should I stop writing ? (against the government)."
"I mean...(this is) absolute nonsense," Chidambaram told PTI adding he was not in Chennai.
He also said there are no allegations against him Chidambaram, a staunch critic of the Narendra Modi-led BJP regime, has said in the past that his voice against the Centre cannot be silenced by launching cases against him or his son Karti, also a Congress leader.
He alleged that the Centre was using investigating agencies to target his son and his friends to "silence" his voice against the government.
"All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write," he said in a statement.
Chidambaram said FIPB approval was granted in "hundreds of cases."
Each case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIPB consisting of five secretaries to the Government of India, he said.
The five secretaries who constitute the FIPB, the officials of the FIPB secretariat and the competent authority in each case are the public officials, he said, adding there was no allegation against any of them.
"There is no allegation against me," he added.
"The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends..The government's aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations," the former finance minister said.
Asked about the raids, he told PTI: "You should have called your CBI friends.......Should I stop writing ? (against the government)."
"I mean...(this is) absolute nonsense," Chidambaram said, adding that he was not in Chennai.