Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on Friday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla alleging that during a raid CBI officials seized “highly confidential” personal notes and papers belonging to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology of which he is a member, and demanded its redress. What he said was a “violation of his parliamentary privilege”. In a letter to Birla, Karti Chidambaram also said that over the years, his family and he himself “have become the target of a relentless campaign by the present government and its investigative agencies trying to silence our voices of dissent”. By imposing fake cases one after the other.”
The MP from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga constituency said such “targeted threats” to a member of the House amounted to breach of privilege.
Karti Chidambaram’s letter to Birla has come amid the interrogation by the CBI. Officials said he appeared before the CBI for the second day on Friday to answer questions related to allegations of bribery in issuing visas to 263 Chinese workers in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was home minister.
Earlier this month, CBI teams conducted a coordinated search operation at 10 locations in several cities of the country, including Chidambaram’s residences in Chennai and Delhi.
In his letter to Birla, Karti Chidambaram said, “I am writing to you now because I have become the victim of a highly illegal and clearly unconstitutional action.”
“The Central Bureau of Investigation raided my residence in Delhi under the guise of probing an 11-year-old decision of the government in which I have no involvement,” he said.
During this so-called raid, some CBI officials confiscated my “highly confidential and sensitive personal notes and papers” belonging to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Information and Technology, alleged Karti Chidambaram.
“Surprisingly, my draft notes and questions were also confiscated, which I wanted to ask the witnesses called in the committee,” he alleged.
He claimed that his handwritten notes relating to the statements made by the witnesses to the committee were also confiscated for reasons best known to the agency.
Karti Chidambaram alleged that these actions of the CBI, in so far as they relate to “interference in my duties as an MP”, are a direct attack on the democratic principles on which our Parliament is founded.
“Therefore, I urge you to take immediate cognizance of this issue, which is a clear violation of my parliamentary privilege,” he said in the letter.
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