The CBI and the ED will soon issue summons to Karti Chidambaram for questioning.
New Delhi: In yet another crucial revelation in the ongoing investigations against Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram, for allegedly receiving money from a media firm to manipulate a tax probe against it in a 2007 foreign investment case, investigators have discovered that the accused firm, INX Media (P) Limited, had allegedly “received” `305 crore as foreign direct investment though the amount approved was just Rs 4.62 crore. The CBI and the ED will soon issue summons to Karti for questioning.
Sources said, “Interrogation of Karti is imminent… Both central agencies will soon call him for questioning”. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), in its meeting on May 18, 2007, had recommended INX Media’s proposal seeking foreign investment for approval of the ministry.
“It is further disclosed that in the press release dated May 30, 2007, issued by the FIPB indicating the details of the proposals approved in the FIPB meeting the quantum of FDI/NRI inflow against Ms INX Media was shown as Rs 4.62 crore... Contrary to the approval of FIPB… INX Media (P) Ltd deliberately and in violation of the conditions of the approval (i) made a down stream investment to the extent of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News (P) Limited without the ‘specific’ approval of the FIPB which included indirect foreign investment by the same foreign investors and (ii) generated more than `305 crore FDI in INX Media (P) Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of `4.62 crore,” a source said.
INX Media was then owned by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in Mumbai for the murder of Sheena Bora. It is also being alleged that after the income-tax department sought clarification from the FIPB unit about its approval for foreign investment, the FIPB unit said that the matter was being investigated. In turn, INX, based on the advise given to it by Karti’s consultancy firm, tried to justify its action.
CBI investigators have also found that INX News (P) Limited “deliberately” concealed that they had already received Rs 305 crore ad FDI when they resubmitted their application for foreign investment.
Sources said that “such a deceitful and fallacious proposal was favourably considered and approved by the officials of the finance ministry”. P. Chidambaram was the Union finance minister from May 2004 till November 2008.
“The concurrence to the proposed investment which had already been made without the approval of the finance ministry show the malafide and dishonest intention on the part of officials of the ministry for (a) not taking any punitive action against the proven violation by the company (b) granting permission to the company as if the firm was yet to receive the foreign investment”, sources said.
Both agencies have registered FIRs 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.