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Friday 5 June 2020

Indrani Mukerjea claims to have bribed Chidambarams with $ 50,00,000

When Indrani and Peter Mukerjea approached Chidambaram for FIPB approval for FDI in INX Media, the then finance minister had allegedly sought the bribe

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Indrani Mukerjea has claimed that she gave a total of $ 5 million (50 lakh) at different destinations abroad to Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. These places overseas include Singapore, Mauritius, Bermuda, England and Switzerland.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on Friday filed a charge sheet in the special court in the INX Media case. The CBI said that it has written a letter in this regard to the authorities in foreign countries for judicial cooperation, which is awaited.

The investigating agency filed charge sheets against four companies and eight people yesterday. The accused have been charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (signing fake documents as genuine).

Indrani Mukerjea has turned a prosecution witness in this case. She is lodged in a jail in Mumbai on the charge of killing her daughter Sheena Bora.

Indrani said in a statement to the CBI that she met P Chidambaram in March-April 2007 to discuss the bribe amount. The agency said that its investigation has revealed that INX Media Pvt Ltd received Rs 403.07 crore just after that in May 2007 as foreign direct investment.

The sordid story that has unfolded so far suggests that Peter and Indrani Mukerjea had approached the then finance minister for an FIPB clearance for FDI in their media house INX Media, which they owned back then. Chidambaram allegedly told them that he could clear their files if his son Karti could make some money from the deal. It was then decided between the Mukerjeas and P Chidambaram that a company would be floated with Karti heading it, which would act as a go-between in the deal. The money Indrani Mukerjea has just referred to is allegedly a part of that deal.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that INX Media had deliberately, and in violation of the conditions of approval, made a downstream investment of 26% in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore. To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED alleged.

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