Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL), a company the CBI claims is “indirectly controlled” by former Finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, received close to Rs 80 crore in its accounts from various companies since 2005, according to the CBI and the ED’s probe into the INX Media case.
The agencies have put all these companies under the scanner and are probing their dealings with ASCPL.
The agencies are already probing six cases where, following alleged payments made to ASCPL, certain companies got approval from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), under the Finance Ministry then led by P Chidambaram.
Sources said payments of Rs 80 crore pertain to various other services ASCPL allegedly provided to companies under the scanner. In many cases these services allegedly involved intervention of the Finance Ministry, sources said.
“The company (ASCPL) was incorporated in 2005 and has since then received Rs 80 crore,” a probe official said. “The company has shown most of it as consultancy fee received from various companies. We suspect most of it is not genuine.” Karti maintains that ASCPL is not associated with him. Chidambaram has said that agencies are harassing his son over dealings of companies run by his friends.
Abhishek Singhvi, who is representing Karti in court, told The Indian Express, “If they disclose any actual details, then it will be replied to. But they are only arguing by innuendos and in sealed covers, which are not disclosed to us. “
The agencies plan to open more cases against Karti following discovery of documents that allegedly show ASCPL played a role in getting FIPB approval for some commercial entities.
Two companies — Katra Holdings and Diageo Scotland Ltd – are being probed for having received FIPB approvals after allegedly making payments to ASCPL.
According to the ED probe, ASCPL received payment of Rs 10 lakh from Mauritius-based Katra Holdings on September 1, 2005. The company received FIPB approval for FDI in Mason & Summers Alcobev of Bangalore on October 4, 2005.
According to ED, which examined employees of Katra Holdings, the firm’s director submitted certain documents through his letter dated November 19, 2016. In his statement recorded by ED on November 11, 2016, under PMLA, he stated that Rs 10,44,387, excluding TDS, was remitted to ASCPL through cheque number 890831 drawn on HDFC Bank dated September 1, 2005.
He reportedly told ED this payment was made on instructions of M G M Manan, shareholder and director of Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank. No invoice from ASCPL was received, he told ED.
CBI to seek Karti narco test
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is ready with an application seeking permission to conduct narco analysis test on Karti Chidambaram, who was arrested in connection with the INX Media case. The CBI moved the plea in the court of judge Sunil Rana, however, according to sources, the judge said he will take up the matter on March 9. —ENS