Days after the CBI registered a case against Karti Chidambaram in connection with alleged irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media, agency sources claimed that they had enough evidence to prove “quid pro quo” against him, says a Times of India report.
The report cited CBI sources saying that the investigation and documents in their possession showed that Karti was paid huge sums for facilitating approval from the finance ministry for foreign direct investment into INX Media in 2007 when his father P Chidambaram was the Finance minister.
They further claimed that Karti had organised a reply through his company Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd for INX Media when the ministry had sought a clarification.
While the sources refused to divulge the details of the evidence, they said that vouchers for payment of Rs 10 lakh to Chess Management by INX Media, company then owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, were part of the “quid pro quo”.
These vouchers were issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm "indirectly" owned by Karti, the CBI had alleged.
In its FIR against Karti, CBI has alleged that Rs 3.5 crore was paid by INX Media to companies directly or indirectly controlled by Karti to influence the FIPB decision.
Sources further revealed that they had found documents linking Karti to both Chess Management and ASCPL, a company where his friends and associates were made directors to “conceal his identity”.
Moreover, Karti’s email conversations with directors of these companies directly established the link. Some of the foreign companies involved in the transactions are also linked to ASCPL, according to documents in possession of the CBI.
On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram and others, taking cognisance of the CBI FIR against them.
Officials said the central probe agency registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), ED's equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in the CBI complaint including Karti, INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, and others.
Last Tuesday, the CBI had conducted searches at multiple premises linked to Chidambaram and Karti in connection with the matter.
Karti had alleged ‘political vendetta’ behind the searches and said no documents had been seized from during the raids, insisting he had done nothing wrong.