CHENNAI: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Sunday denied having any financial link with Vasan Eye Care group that is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering. On September 17, Express had in a report ‘PC, Vasan Eye Care and Rs. 223-cr Black Money’ highlighted how crores of rupees were surreptitiously funneled into Vasan Eye Care through little-known chit fund company, JD Group, and other individuals and firms used as conduit to increase the stake of the former minister’s son Karti in Vasan.
Denying the nexus, Chidambaram in a statement said: “Neither I nor my son nor any member of my family have any equity or investment or economic interest in the company (he did not name it) concerned.” Terming the allegations ridiculous and laughable, he said: “Let me say clearly that the entire report is false, malicious and part of a political campaign against members of the (erstwhile) UPA government or individuals belonging to the Congress party.”
He claimed he was unaware of events concerning the IT department after the UPA demitted office in May 2014. (Then IT Commissioner – Central, Chennai, M Srinivasa Rao, in a sworn affidavit before the CAT had alleged that he was being victimised for pursuing the Vasan scam and named Chidambaram among others).
“I understand that the company has globally renowned investors who have invested in the company and an eminent Board of Directors. I am sure they will defend the company against the malicious allegations,” he said. He further advised the media to be responsible and truthful. “Carrying false and malicious reports without independent verification will certainly attract the provisions of law and I shall not hesitate to place the matter in the hands of my lawyers to take appropriate action under law,” he said.
EDITOR RESPONDS: Express stands by every word of its report and is prepared to face legal action if it comes.