DESCRIBING THE arrest of Karti Chidambaram by the CBI as “wholly arbitrary”, former law minister and senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar Thursday said his arrest for the purpose of custodial interrogation raises the larger issue about the “persecutorial approach” adopted by CBI.
“Karti’s arrest mocks the constitutional conscience as far as the citizen’s fundamental right to personal liberty and dignity is concerned. That the decision to arrest Karti is wholly arbitrary is clearly apparent from the way the case has progressed. Karti has been interrogated for several hours at different times during the last months,” he said in a statement.
“All documents considered necessary are with the prosecuting agency. The alleged confessional statements by certain individuals in custody for heinous crimes, which seems to be the basis of the present action against the accused, cannot be tampered with since these are already in the possession of CBI.” He said Karti has strictly complied with the court’s directions to join investigations and has no intention of evading trial or fleeing from justice.
“In these circumstances, his arrest for the purpose of custodial interrogation raises the larger issue about the persecutorial approach adopted by CBI. Such actions enable fugitives from the law to question the legitimacy and fairness of our investigative processes and bring into question our commitment to the rule of law and human rights. We cannot forget that an oppressive criminal investigation violates the citizen’s right to reputation and dignity — the most sacrosanct of all rights,” he said.
Recalling the Supreme Court ruling that bail is the rule and jail is an exception when it comes to criminal cases, he said “it is self-evident that fundamental constitutional guarantees cannot be suborned brazenly for political considerations through subversion of the first principles of law”.