Karti Chidambaram,businessman and former Finance minister P.Chidambaram’s son got arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the INX Media money-laundering case on wednesday Moring.On his return from London CBI officials took Karti into custody at the Chennai Airport.From there he was brought to Delhi for detailed questioning.Since he failed to cooperate with the investigation Karti Chidambaram will be held for two weeks under custody of CBI.He will be produced before the magistrate today afternoon.Mr. Karti told the media that all the allegations against him were politically motivated and that this would be validated by the court.
The agency had summoned Karti for questioning earlier but he had sought stay orders from court.On May 15 last year,CBI filed an FIR reporting the irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister. It is alleged Karti had received funds around Rs 10 lakh in the case.
Karti was arrested on allegations that he had demanded and accepted $1 million for scuttling a possible probe against INX Media for violation of FIPB conditions in 2007.INX media director Indrani Mukerjea along with her husband Peter Mukerjea is facing prosecution for the murder of their daughter Sheena Bora.They claimed that Mr. Karti demanded and accepted the amount.
The Enforcement Directorate has also registered a money laundering case.
The arrest of Karti drew angry reactions from the Congress party which labelled his arrest as “vendetta” and “diversionary tactic” by the BJP Government to hide its scams and bribary.
It is alleged that Karti exercised his influence over the FIPB unit officials to help INX Media come out of a probe proposed by the Revenue Department into an alleged unapproved 26% down-streaming of foreign investments in INX News, received from three Mauritius-based companies in 2007.
INX Media had got FIPB approval for Rs.4.62-crore influx, but received Rs.305 crore by selling its shares at a premium of Rs.800 per unit. For down-streaming of funds, the company re-applied as advised by the FIPB and got a separate approval later, allegedly by concealing that it had already been made.
INX Media clearly states in its records that Rs 10 lakh was given to Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm that is indirectly owned by Karti, for management consultancy charged towards FIPB notification and clarification.The agency has registered an FIR against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas, INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its Director Padma Vishwanathan.
Senior Advocate Abhishek M Singhvi,who is appearing for Karti Chidambaram said that the conditions were complied with in letters, notices and affidavit.He also said that Karti had appeared before the CBI on August 22 and 28 last year, after which no summonses were issued.. When he said that the CBI arrested him without summoning, the CBI counsel showed Indrani’s 164-Cr.PC statement to state that $1 million were allegedly demanded and accepted by Karti.
Image Credits : Hindustan Times