Byculla jail officials today produced before a court here a production warrant issued by a Delhi court against Indrani Mukerjea, key accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, in connection with a money laundering case. A case of money laundering has been filed against the Mukerjeas (Indrani and her husband Peter), former Union minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram and others by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“We have submitted the warrant to the court,” said a prison official. The court is likely to pass an order on September 7, the next date of hearing in the Sheena Bora murder case. The Delhi court had issued directions for her production on September 9.
The ED has registered the case against Karti Chidambaram, INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani, and others, after taking cognizance of a recent CBI FIR against them. The Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED’s equivalent of a police FIR, was registered under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The CBI had filed the FIR against Karti and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct. It is alleged that Karti had received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
The CBI had also recovered vouchers of Rs 10 lakh which were allegedly paid for the services. These vouchers were issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm “indirectly” owned by Karti, the CBI had alleged. P Chidambaram, after the CBI searches on May 16, had issued a strong statement in response to the raids, saying the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son.
FIPB approval was granted in “hundreds of cases”, the senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister had said. The CBI FIR was made out against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwanathan. Meanwhile, the special CBI court today continued recording the statement of accused-turned-approver Shyamvar Rai.
Rai told the court that other than his own mobile number he remembers numbers of Indrani and her son Mikhail. He told special judge J C Jagdale that he used to speak to Mikhail frequently and for long duration but he never informed him about the conspiracy. According to the CBI, Indrani had planned to kill Sheena and Mikhail.
The murder came to light three years later when Rai was arrested by Mumbai Police in another case and he spilled the beans. The CBI, which took over the case later, claimed that financial dispute was the reason for Indrani to hatch the conspiracy to murder Sheena. Rai’s examination would continue on September 7. Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her husband Peter Mukerjea are currently facing trial in the case.