“Even Kangaroo Courts Hold Trials”: P Chidambaram On “Mrs Gandhi” Claims

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P Chidambaram had earlier accused the central agencies of damaging his reputation.

New Delhi:

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a dig at the centre, investigating agencies and the media over the "new improved system" of trials and judgments that don't require substantial evidence. He said that the system will "surpass kangaroo courts and justice will be delivered on TV channels".

In a series of tweets, the former union minister apparently mocked the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) submission in the court on Saturday that Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, took names of "Mrs Gandhi" and "Son of an Italian Lady" during questioning.

While the context in which Christian Michel took those names isn't known yet, the BJP was quick to corner the Congress saying the alleged middleman referred to Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. The ruling party even demanded an explanation from the Gandhi family.

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Union minister Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress of running a corrupt government that compromised with national security.

The Congress rubbished the allegations as "creation of BJP scriptwriters" and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come out and face questions in the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal.

Mr Chidambaram tweeted "if the government, ED and the media have their way, in this country cases will be tried on TV channels".

In another tweet, dripping with sarcasm, the Congress leader said, "Further, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act will not apply. What ED says will be oral evidence, any piece of paper ED produces will be documentary evidence, and what the TV channel pronounces will be the judgement."

Calling it a new "improved" system that will outdo even kangaroo courts, Mr Chidambaram quipped that even those courts hold trials in a courtroom.

"Our new 'improved' system will surpass kangaroo courts and deliver justice on TV channels," he said.

Christian Michel, 54, is one of the three alleged middlemen being investigated in Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper scam for allegedly organising bribes for Indian politicians and bureaucrats to push the AgustaWestland deal, involving 12 luxury choppers, during the Congress-led government.

The Enforcement Directorate told the court that he named "Mrs Gandhi" and "son of an Italian lady" who was going to be the "next Prime Minister".

The Congress alleged that the BJP-led government was using central agencies to target one family and that Christian Michel was being pressurised into naming a particular family ahead of the national elections.

"We have seen what the BJP has been doing in this matter. In fact, one of the television channels showed how there is pressure on Christian Michel to name a particular family," Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said.

They (BJP) do not have any issues, so through the ED they are trying to put pressure on people, he added.

The senior Congress leader, who is named as an accused in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, has accused the agencies of sensationalising the cases and damaging his reputation.

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