New Delhi: As P Chidambaram came in the line of fire over the withdrawal of three FIRs against a hotelier, former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai  defended him saying the Home Minister had clearly instructed his officials not to take any decision and asked only to convey the Law Ministry's advice.

"I clearly remember that the Home Minister had written in the file that the Home Ministry should convey the advice of Ministry of Law and the Home Ministry should not give any direction on the issue," Pillai said.

His remarks came against the backdrop of controversy over the alleged conflict of interest involving Chidambaram in withdrawal of three cases against S P Gupta, Chairman, Sunair Hotels Limited, New Delhi, said to be a former client of Chidambaram.

 Pillai said the draft of a letter sent by the Home Ministry to the Delhi government for withdrawal of FIRs had not been shown to the Home Minister or Home Secretary or the Joint Secretary concerned and it did not reflect the proper deliberations in the Home Ministry.

 He said the Home Minister had clearly instructed the officials not to give any direction to Delhi government regarding the withdrawal of the case.

The application from Gupta requesting withdrawal of the FIRs against him was received when Pillai was Home Secretary.

 The Delhi government on Thursday had revoked its earlier decision not to press for prosecution of cases against the hotelier. The decision was taken by Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna.