New Delhi: Sinking deeper into trouble regarding the raging controversy over the withdrawal of a case of a Delhi-based hotelier, Home Minister P Chidambaram strived hard to defend himself here on Friday. Forced by the sharp attacks by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Lok Sabha proceedings being dismissed for the second consecutive day, Chidambaram threw the ball in the court of the director level officials. 

In spite of Chidambaram’s explanations, the BJP is adamant on its accusations. After heated debate on the issue in both the houses, adjourned on the second consecutive day, the BJP demanded the Home Minister’s explanation on the issue.

Though the government is standing like a supporting wall, the Prime Minister would have to deal with the issue along with the prevailing Lokpal soon after his arrival from Moscow. Meanwhile, the stand of Patiala House Court on Chidambaram’s involvement in the 2G case on Saturday would depict the road ahead for the Minister.

Tangled in the political hassles, the Home minister was seen defending himself like a lawyer. In an urgent press conference, he said, “The Home Ministry should not give any directions and Home Ministry may only convey the advice of the Ministry of Law.”

However, he was speechless on the question: Despite of his clear instructions, how the instructions were issued to the Delhi government to withdraw the case.

The Home Minister and Home Secretary RK Singh are blaming the director level officer for the mess. According to them, the draft of the letter written to the Delhi government was not shared with any official of the Ministry. But both Chidambaram and Singh refused any action against the officer for the mistake.

The Home Minister also fielded retired Home Secretary GK Pillai for his defense. Expressing deep hurt on BJP’s allegations, Chidambaram said, “There is no conflict of interest involved in it.”

He added “I can't have lifelong interest in over 25,000 cases I represented as lawyer in last four decades.  How can there be a clash of interest any case. I may have appeared once or twice from the hotelier’s side but I don't have any current subsisting interest with him.”

However, the Minister said since 2004, hotelier S P Gupta had made several representations to the Home Ministry requesting to withdraw the case, which was also backed by three MPs. But for the first time, considering his representations, the Home Ministry decided to reach the Law Ministry for the advice of the Law Minister on the issue.

JPN/Bureau