The Special CBI Court on Monday took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by CBI against former finance minister P Chidambaram, his son Karti and 12 others.
The special court judge ordered that Chidambaram be produced before the Court as an accused on October 24. Summons were also issued to other accused persons though the date of their appearance before the court was yet to be given. They include TV executives Peter Mukherjea and Indrani Mukerjea, the latter two are lodged in jail on multiple charges including murder. Indrani has since turned approver.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister.
The CBI chargesheet accuses all 14 of committing offences under various IPC sections relating to criminal conspiracy and cheating and also under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act for causing loss to the exchequer. The chargesheet has also mentioned that Peter and Indrani allegedly in conspiracy with Chidambaram and FIPB officials disregarded FIPB rules to settle the issue as INX was initially granted an FIPB approval of only
Rs 4.62 crore but actual investment in the company stood at Rs 403.7 crore. Under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), INX was liable for a payment of penalty to the tune of Rs 300 crore but the company was saved due to the alleged favours by the then Finance Ministry and FIPB officials.
The CBI has accused Karti of floating a shell company to receive bribe as consultancy fee and other payments. “Indrani had also alleged to have paid $5 million as bribe to the Chidambarams in offshore accounts. We have sent Letters Rogatory to foreign countries to seek details on the payments,” said an agency official.
In the chargesheet, the CBI has mentioned that Chidambaram, during his tenure as Finance Minister, had allegedly facilitated a huge transfusion of foreign funds for the TV company and his son Karti had allegedly received kickbacks for the deal, officials added.
Chidambaram, 74, was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and remained in custody till Wednesday, when he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.
Read the chargesheet below:
—India Legal Bureau