Palaniappan Chidambaram, the man who went after Left-wing extremists in Operation Greenhut and famously announced several voluntary disclosures of income schemes to ferret out black money, has now gone underground like Maoists who had fled his wrath and for alleged bribery. But this time, he is fleeing from the Narendra Modi government that is bringing him to heel for alleged wrongdoings in the INX Media case where he is alleged to have been paid a bribe of Rs 307 crore for clearing foreign investment into INX Media, promoted by Peter Mukehrjea and his then-wife Indrani, who has now turned approver.
The fall is indeed mighty and the fortune of those who Chidambaram and his then government went after, are in government now with Amit Shah, who was imprisoned for 3 months in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, exacting what could be called poetic justice. But that is how the law works, ceaselessly grinding and moving, slow, steady and kind of unrelenting in its long-arm avatar. Chidambaram, who had famously taunted several people who had opposed him, be it on Aadhaar or other enactments, to approach the courts if they had problems with the laws, is finding the power of the Indian State crushing on him. The denial of anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court, the delays in the hearing of his bail plea by the Supreme Court, currently hearing the Ayodhya case, must make the seasoned lawyer wonder the wisdom of his earlier utterances. This is when he is what he is, imagine the plight of the average Indian citizen if such a situation comes about?
During demonetisation, there were reports that the poor were happy that the rich were finding their hoards of black money, stored as the demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, reduced to waste paper. Similarly, there are several expressing glee at the plight of the former finance minister, he of the withering gaze and the patrician’s diction.
It is time Chidambaram himself repose faith in the law which he has practiced for decades and turn himself in, instead of running helter-skelter like a fugitive mastermind.