NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in a chargesheet filed in the INX Media case, has alleged that former Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram influenced public servants to extend favours to INX Media and also used false invoices as a genuine document to demand an illegal gratification of Rs 10 lakh from the company.
The investigating agency filed the chargesheet before a special court against fourteen accused, including P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram, his accountant, INX Media, its former director Peter Mukerjea, Chess Management Services Private Limited, ASCPL and a handful of bureaucrats.
Indrani Mukerjea, who was the former INX Media director, was however pardoned and her name not mentioned in the chargesheet as an accused after she turned an approver in the case. The court will take cognizance of the chargesheet on October 21.
In the chargesheet, the CBI has stated that Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea met P Chidambaram in his office in the North Block regarding the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media Private Limited and INX News Private Limited and during the meeting, the then finance minister demanded illegal gratification from them in the form of overseas payoffs for himself.
He also demanded that the business interest of his son Karti be taken care of in lieu of FIPB approval, the chargesheet stated.
It also submitted that the meeting between the three was corroborated through the records relating to their (Indrani and Peter) stay in Hotel Oberoi and the taxi bill for the travel. The visitor’s log of P Chidambaram’s office, however, could not be made available as it was weeded out.
It also mentioned that the Mukerjea duo and the legal head of INX Media, on the instructions of P Chidambaram, met Karti for a coffee at the hotel Hayat Regency in June 2008. In the meeting, Karti assured them that the “contentious issues would be resolved”.
The chargesheet added that, “Investigation has revealed that P Chidambaram was aware of the various complaints submitted to him, wherein the source of the funds of INX News Pvt Ltd was very much questioned. This fact was specifically brought to the notice of P Chidambaram by Murli Manohar Joshi and Avinash Rai Khanna, former MPs through their respective complaints submitted to him.”
In August, earlier this year, P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the finance minister. He is currently lodged in Tihar jail.
Source : TOI