The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday raided residences owned by former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti P Chidambaram at 14 different locations across the country including in Tamil Nadu, Gurugram and Mumbai.
The raids were carried out in connection with alleged criminal misconduct in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to foreign investments received by INX Media Pvt Ltd formerly owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The clearance was for INX Media–the company started by the Peter and Indrani. The grant is provided by FIPB which consists of five secretaries of the government of India. Chidambaram said that all approvals were given according to law.
Chidambaram was in Delhi while his son was in his hometown Chennai when the raids took place early Tuesday morning. The former Union minister released a statement alleging that the central government was targeting Karti and him while also trying to silence his voice and prevent him from writing. “The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations. All I will say, I will continue to speak and write,” he said. Congress party came to Chidambaram’s rescue and threw its weight behind him. Party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala, said: “Neither we (Congress), nor Mr Chidambaram are afraid of such acts.”
BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy said: “Congress is the most corrupt party,” as reported by ANI. “What do you expect Congress to do? Their president and vice president are facing trial in the National Herald case. The whole country will come to know that it is the most corrupt party in the history of the world,” he said.
By early afternoon, Karti gave his own statement where he said that “Raids are being carried out only because of political vendetta. Have done nothing wrong. They could not prove allegations against me, they want to silence our voice.”
On April 17, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it had issued notice to Vasan Health Care Pvt Ltd, its promoter Karti, and Advantage Strategic Consulting for violating foreign currency laws relating to Rs 2,307 crore. The notices were served for violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Chidambaram was also named in another FIPB norms violation case. Chidambaram is named as one of the accused in the Aircel-Maxis deal case. Chidambaram was accused of illegally granting FIPB nod to the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. The prosecution had said that the case should have been passed on to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for deciding on FIPB clearance. The prime minister heads the CCEA and it was then the only body that could approve foreign investments upward of Rs 600 crore.