Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday denied before the Delhi High Court that he met Indrani Mukerjea in connection with granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval to INX Media.
“Blanket, full in totality, I deny that I ever met her (Indrani) at any place,” senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram told Justice Suresh Kumar Kait.
The submission of the 74-year-old Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP’s counsel came after the judge asked during a hearing of his bail plea if “Indrani ever met P Chidambaram?”.
The query was put to Singhvi in connection with Indrani, former director of INX Media, and her husband Peter Mukerjea’s statement that when they met Chidambaram in his North Block office in 2006, he had asked them to meet his son and suggested that they help him in his business.
Karti, who was present in the courtroom, too said, “I deny 100 per cent. He ( Chidambaram) never met her. I (Karti) have never met anyone connected directly or indirectly to this entity called INX.”
She had recorded in her statement on February 17, 2018, now part of court documents, that Karti had asked them (Mukerjeas) for a bribe when they met at a hotel in Delhi.
In July, the Delhi special court had allowed Indrani’s application to turn approver in an alleged corruption case against her company. She is currently in Mumbai’s Byculla jail in connection with the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora.
Probing charges of corruption in the INX Media case, the CBI had arrested Chidambaram on August 21. The next day, he was remanded in CBI custody for 15 days and is now in judicial custody in Tihar jail till October 3. Karti is out on bail in the matter.
During the arguments, Singhvi also apprised the court that the charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Chidambaram are not grave in nature and he should be released on bail.
Justice Kait concluded hearing the submissions by Chidambaram’s advocates on his bail petition and fixed the matter for Friday when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will commence his arguments on behalf of the CBI.