The order on the anticipatory bail plea of Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman in the CBI’s INX Media case is likely to be pronounced by a Delhi court on April 4. Special Judge Sunil Rana today reserved the order after hearing the arguments of Bhaskararaman, who was recently granted bail in the money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In his application, the accused said he had already given the documents to the probe agency and was confronted with Karti, who was recently granted bail in the case registered by the CBI. The CBI opposed the application alleging that Bhaskararaman was non-cooperative and evasive in his replies and even gave wrong answers.
The agency said its power to arrest the accused if and when required should not be curtailed as the investigation was at a crucial stage and he may tamper with the evidence. The plea was moved through advocate Giriraj Subramanium who said the main accused, Karti, had already been granted bail and the allegations against the CA’s role was very limited.
Bhaskararaman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 16 from a five-star hotel here, was on March 13 granted bail in the money laundering case by the court which said there were no specific allegation against him except that he aided former union minister P Chidambaram’s son in committing the crime.
Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father was the finance minister during the erstwhile UPA regime. The ED had earlier told the court that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his “ill-gotten wealth” in India and abroad.
It had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.