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India Crime INX media: Finally a court goes against Chidambaram

INX media: Finally a court goes against Chidambaram

FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram in the corruption and money laundering cases related to the INX Media scandal.

Justice Sunil Gaur denied relief to Chidambaram. CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister.

The ED had in 2018 lodged the money laundering case in this regard. There has been a series of exemptions given by the judiciary to Chidambaram and family. This has been witnessed time and again in 2018. Sirf News covered the news of all these interim protections and anticipatory bails as and when they were granted either to the former Union minister or to his son Karti Chidambaram.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May 2017 against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was Finance Minister. In October 2018, the Enforcement Directorate said it had attached assets worth Rs 54 crore of Karti Chidambaram in India, Spain and the UK in connection with a money laundering case related to INX Media, an action termed “bizarre and outlandish” by him.

Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was also arrested in the matter for allegedly receiving funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case. The other accused in the case include former INX directors Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.

INX Media case explained

ED had provided information about the alleged illegal payments made by INX Media, based on which the CBI had filed its FIR. The CBI had also 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 Chidambaram’s have denied all the charges made against them.

The CBI had filed the FIR against Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct. The agency alleged 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 said it had 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.

Former finance minister Chidambaram, after the CBI searches on 16 May, had issued a strong statement in response to the raids, saying the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son. The FIPB approval was granted in “hundreds of cases”, the senior Congress leader had said.

The CBI FIR was made out against Karti Chidambaram, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder of their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwanathan.

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