CBI quotes Indrani Mukerjea in INX Media case: P Chidambaram asked us to help his son Karti Chidambaram

In her statement, Indrani Mukerjea, who is already behind bars in the Sheena Bora murder case, alleged that a deal of USD 1 million was struck between Karti and the Mukerjeas to swing FIPB approval in favour of INX Media.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary , Abhishek Angad | New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2018 8:40 am
karti Chidambaram, karti Chidambaram, INX media case, Indrani Mukerjea, Indrani Mukerjea case, karti Chidambaram arrested, P Chidambaram, money laundering case, CBI, Congress, BJP, indian express Indrani Mukerjea taken to JJ Hospital for a medical check-up. (Express File Phopto: Ganesh Shirsekar)

Investigation agencies said the arrest of Karti Chidambaram followed a statement by accused Indrani Mukerjea in which she had alleged that P Chidambaram, while he was Union Finance Minister, had asked her and her husband Peter Mukerjea to help his son’s business.

In her statement recorded by the CBI under Section 164 of the CrPC, Indrani Mukerjea, who is already behind bars in the Sheena Bora murder case, alleged that a deal of USD 1 million was struck between Karti and the Mukerjeas to swing FIPB approval in favour of INX Media.

While P Chidambaram made no comment Wednesday on his son’s arrest or the claims of the CBI, his party came to his defence. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal called Karti’s arrest “malafide” and said it was done to harass P Chidambaram. “This is complete vendetta politics. This is completely malafide,” he said.

Explained | The decade-old case of INX Media

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate also claimed that searches of premises linked to the accused in the case led to discovery of vouchers of payments made by INX Media to companies connected to Karti, and to foreign entities which received close to USD 700,000 in Greece and Spain. All vouchers were signed by Peter Mukerjea.

According to CBI and ED, Indrani and Peter have said in their statements that they met P Chidambaram at his North Block office in connection with FIPB approval for FDI in INX Media. Chidambaram, the agencies claimed, asked the Mukerjeas to “help the business of his son Karti, and to make foreign remittances for this purpose”.

karti chidambaram, karti chidambaram arrested, p chidambaram Karti Chidambaram in New Delhi. Prem Nath Pandey

The Mukerjeas, the CBI and ED claimed, also admitted to “have met Sh. Karti Chidambaram in Hotel Hyatt in Delhi, where a demand for illegal gratification of $1 million was made. Sh. Karti Chidambaram suggested the names of Chess Management and Advantage Strategic as alternatives to make payments.”

While Chess Management Global Pvt Ltd was engaged by INX Media to advise in the matter, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) was made a payment of Rs 10 lakh as consultancy fee. ASCPL, the CBI said, was “indirectly controlled by Karti”.

Also Read: INX Media: P Chidambaram’s fear of harassment of his family turns true

The ED investigators claimed that “ledger extracts produced by INX Media Ltd showed that the payment (of Rs 10 lakh) has been made for ‘reply towards FIPB notification and clarification’.”

During the probe by CBI and ED, INX Media also “produced emails and letters sent to Sh B Sai Chandravardhan, VP, Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd on the FIPB issue”.

“We have about 200 emails that establish the connection between Chess Management and ASCPL and FIPB negotiations,” a probe officer said.

Also Read: INX Media case: Chronology of events

Four invoices, connected to the alleged illegal gratification paid for FIPB approval in the matter, were drawn by ASCPL (Rs 35 lakh), its Singapore subsidiary (USD 20,000), Northstar Software Solutions Pvt Ltd (Rs 60 lakh) and Greece-based Geben Trading Ltd (USD 500,000).

These vouchers, recovered from the computer of Karti’s chartered accountant Bhaskararaman, were from September 2008, the time when INX Media Ltd applied for fresh approval for downstream investment in INX News Ltd. The Finance Ministry later cleared the matter and allowed INX Media to make the investment.

The CBI and ED have argued that INX Media had not been given clearance by the FIPB to make 26 per cent downstream investment in INX News. But it went ahead in 2007 itself. When the matter was flagged by the I-T department and FIPB sought clarification from INX Media, it brought in Karti to sort out the issue. Karti, investigators claimed, helped INX Media seek fresh approval for an investment which had already been made.

The company is accused of bringing in foreign investments worth over Rs 300 crore through three Mauritius-based companies against approval of only Rs 4.6 crore.

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  1. Soemeer Prahladsingh
    Mar 2, 2018 at 1:52 am
    Black money caused problems to people, so barking Chidambaram had pain because son can not act. There will be more cases, because the barking congress members shout that Rs100 and Rs 500 change has been a failure. the opposite is true, Congress and its members and friends are in pain.
    1. R
      Mar 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm
      The Good News....scams are coming out in the open....had the crooked-congressi regime continued, these scams would have been brushed under the carpet. This is the beauty of an honesty-driven RSS_BJP_Led_NDA 'cultural governance' that is inspiring the high officials and stakeholders speak out the murky-deals with confidence and conviction that allow due investigations into the same apart from letting the public, media and all stakeholders openly debate and scrutinise the sources of corruption and the culprits behind them...this is a remarkable "reformation in the socio-economic marketplace" from what was never brought out by a corrupt-congress regime with their whole gang drowning in maddening depths of "easy life of easy money" for decades ....their future generations will pay the price....perhaps ! Team-Modi has the greater challenge of staying focussed on economic development of the billion-plus well-wsihers of the Nation who I am certain are keeping RSS-BJP for another term or two !
      1. R
        Mar 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm
        "INX Media: P Chidambaram’s fear of harassment of his family turns true".................... .....................NO MATTER WHAT.............the guilty shall continue to fear !
        1. Bharat Politics
          Mar 1, 2018 at 2:55 pm
          Whether Public become fool or . It is a surprise. Numerous scams , Numerous corruptions, lot of bribe and looted Indian Economy by a Political party and their people. They are become Bhagwan now. Public wants to make their pooja and accuse PM Modi. As if, he looted. Some people who wants to do corruptions and get benefits out of these corruptions, and looting, they are against the cur government. They blame, because there is no kamayee. Such people are in plenty in India. Shame.
          1. K
            Mar 1, 2018 at 2:53 pm
            Shame on Modi and CBI which they moving forward by trusted on the words omitted by a candidate below the standard of a third-rate pros ute itself had killed their own daughter for money and sex. Officially already have been changed three member, may be in search of another one. Modi may be the best suitable person.
            1. Yeshpal Singh Guleria
              Mar 1, 2018 at 3:50 pm
              1. Radha Ramana
                Mar 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm
                Shame on s like you who vote for congress....and foolishly support corruption...you can your money to congress and kill your childrens future but not us....
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