Sunday, Feb 18, 2018 | Last Update : 11:35 PM IST
The ED has named Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, and others in its probe report.
New Delhi: The noose around Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram, tightened further with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registering a money laundering case against him and others, taking cognizance of a recent CBI FIR against them.
The ED has named Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, and others in its probe report. The case has been registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sources said the ED will probe the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated in this case and may also attach assets of the various accused. The ED which had provided information about the alleged illegal payments made by INX Media, based on which the CBI had filed its FIR, they added. The CBI’s FIR was made out against Karti Chidambaram, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on the charge of the murder of their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwan-athan. “The ED will soon call all accused, including Karti Chidambaram, for questioning”, sources said.
However, he left for London on Thursday on what his father described as a scheduled trip. The CBI, on Tuesday, had carried out searches at the homes and offices of Karti Chidambaram across four cities for allegedly receiving money from the media firm owned by the Mukerjeas to scuttle a tax probe. The Chidambarams had denied all the charges made against them.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct. There are allegations that Karti Chidambaram 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’s FIR also alleged that invoices of several crores were raised in favour of INX group in the name of other companies in which Karti Chidambaram had substantial interests “directly or indirectly”.
The former finance minister, after the CBI searches on May 16, had issued a strong statement in response saying that 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 had said. Sources in the CBI said that INX Media was seeking investment from Mauritius, an official explained. “The investment was allowed by the FIPB board and the Finance Minister with the condition that only Rs 4.62 crore could be received, for investment in INX News Pvt Ltd, a separate proposal was required. The company allegedly violated the conditions set by the FIPB and received investment to the tune of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News which included foreign investment”, sources said. It allegedly generated more than `305 crore of FDI in INX Media against the approved inflow of Rs 4.62 crore by issuing shares to foreign investors at a premium of more than Rs 800 per share.