A Delhi court today granted bail to Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, arrested in the INX Media money laundering case.
Special judge Sunil Rana granted bail to Bhaskararaman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 16 from a five-star hotel in the heart of the national capital.
The court granted the relief to the CA and asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of like amount. It asked Bhaskararaman to cooperate in the investigation as and when required by the ED and asked him not to leave the country without its permission.
Bhaskararaman had sought bail on the ground that he was not required for custodial interrogation and no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody. The CA was sent to jail on February 26 after his custodial interrogation by the ED.
Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram was the finance minister during the previous UPA regime.
The ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana had earlier told the court that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his “ill-gotten wealth” in India and abroad.
He had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent 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 had alleged.
The FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, it had alleged.