INX Media case: Karti Chidambaram appears before CBI,
Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following the Supreme Court directions in a matter relating to alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007. The CBI is understood to have posed over 100 questions to Karti during his over eight hours ofquestioning in connection with the case.
Karti arrived at the CBI headquarters in Delhi around 10.20 AM where officers from the investigating agency questioned him for over eight hours, sources said. Over 100 questions on various aspects of the case were drafted by investigators which were put to 45-year-old Karti, the sources said.
They said he will be examined again on August 28.
The agency wanted to examine him in connection with the FIPB clearance given to media group INX Media for receiving funds from Mauritius when his father P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister. It is alleged that a firm "indirectly controlled" by him received money from INX Media, run by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
On August 18, the Supreme Court had directed Karti to appear before the CBI and to "carry with him all the necessary documents (that he may rely) in his defence keeping in mind the allegations in the FIR".
He then moved to the Madras High Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the CBI and its subsequent summonses in the INX Media case. He was not granted any relief in the matter and was directed by the court to approach the Delhi High Court which has superintendence powers in the matter.
The CBI had issued a notice to Karti to appear for questioning in June but he had sought more time. Later, a look out circular was also issued against him to prevent him from leaving the country, CBI sources said. Karti had then approached the Madras High Court which stayed the circular. The Supreme Court later put on hold the high court order.
During a hearing before the apex court, Karti had told the court he was willing to appear before the CBI. The court then directed him to appear on August 23. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud allowed Karti to be accompanied by a lawyer at the CBI headquarters during the questioning.
INX Media case
On May 15, an FIR was registered by CBI against Karti and INX Media along with eight others for alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the media house for receiving foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007 when his father was the finance minister.
The probe agency had claimed the FDI proposal of the media house was "fallacious" but Chidambaram had cleared it.
The CBI had on July 19 issued summons, the second by the agency in the case, asking Karti to appear before it two days later.
Earlier, it had asked Karti and four others to appear for questioning on June 27 and 29. Karti had then informed the CBI through his lawyer that he needed more time to appear.
The agency had alleged that a firm "indirectly controlled" by Karti had received money from INX Media, run by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea in 2007.
During the hearing of the petitions earlier, the CBI had opposed them arguing they were not maintainable and wanted the court to dismiss them.
In May, the CBI had conducted raids at the premises of Karti, Peter and Indrani at 14 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai in connection with the case.
Incidentally, during the pendency of the petition challenging the summons, a 'look out circular' was issued by the government against Karti and subsequently stayed by the high court.
However, the Supreme Court had on August 14 stayed the high court order on an appeal by the Centre after observing that Karti had not joined the investigation in the case.
(With PTI inputs)