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Karti transferred Rs 1.8 crore to bank account of influential UPA leader, reveal ED sources

The Enforcement Directorate is believed to have found details of the transfer, which was made by Karti from his account in the Chennai branch of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The alleged transfer was made between 2006 to 2009.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 06, 2018 23:39 IST ]
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Days after the arrest of Karti Chidambaram on the charges of money laundering, sources revealed that he had transferred Rs 1.8 crore into the bank account of an influential UPA leader.

The Enforcement Directorate is believed to have found details of the transfer, which was made by Karti from his account in the Chennai branch of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The alleged transfer was made between 2006 to 2009.

Sources, however, said that the reason for the transfer is not yet clear. They said that the receipient has discharged crucial responsibilities at the Centre back then, but declined to divulge details of the political stalwart to avoid hampering of the investigation.  

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to grant Karti interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the money laundering case relating to the INX Media group. 

Also read | INX media case: Karti Chidambaram remanded to CBI custody for 3 more days

Later, Karti was sent to three more days of CBI custody in the INX Media corruption case with a Delhi court today extending his CBI custody. The court order came after the agency said an extension was needed as there were "new revelations". Further custodial interrogation was necessary to confront him with "new facts", it added. 

The agency also alleged that witnesses in the case were being approached and evidences destroyed. 

During the period of remand, all the conditions laid down in the March 1 order will prevail -- that Karti Chidambaram will be medically examined every 24 hours and will be at liberty to seek the assistance of his counsel , one hour each in the morning and evening. 

Though he will be permitted to carry medicines on prescription with him, he will be denied home food. 

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Karti Chidambaram, said the CBI just wanted to keep him in custody by hook or by crook. 

"I have cooperated. I am not obliged to answer what you (CBI) want to hear. My duty is only to make myself available for questioning," Singhvi submitted. 

"The shifting of stands/reasons by the CBI to keep me in custody is a mala fide attempt on their part to get my custody," the senior advocate said. 

"Is Indrani's statement even an admissible evidence? She is in jail in murder case of her daughter," he asked, adding that Karti Chidambaram was not a terrorist with a bomb that he could not be interrogated without being kept in custody. 

His father and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and mother, Nalini Chidambaram, also a senior advocate, were present in the courtroom during the hearing. 

The court had allowed him to meet them for 10 minutes. 

At the outset, the probe agency submitted before the court documents in a sealed cover related to the probe in the case over the last six days. 

On March 1, the court had allowed Karti Chidambaram's custodial interrogation by the CBI for five days, saying there was need to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media case and his presence would serve an important purpose. 

In the remand application, CBI counsel V K Sharma today said the agency was able to gather some information even though Karti Chidambaram was "evasive" while answering routine questions. 

While granting police custody, the court on March 1 had come to the conclusion that Karti Chidambaram's presence was needed for important and specific purposes connected with the completion of the investigation in the present case, the CBI said. 

The agency also reminded the court about its previous order in which it was stated that Karti Chidambaram's custody remand was necessary to confront him with documents, co-accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy and the role of other accused person involved in the case. 

The CBI, during the last hearing, had claimed that Karti Chidambaram has to be confronted with the statement of various witnesses, including former RBI governor D Subba Rao. 

Also read | INX Media corruption case: SC refuses to grant Karti Chidambaram interim protection from arrest, seeks response from ED

Rao had headed a committee which dealt with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) issue of INX Media before the approval was granted when Chidambaram was Union finance minister. 

Karti Chidambaram was arrested on February 28 at Chennai Airport on his return from the United Kingdom, in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year alleging irregularities in FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds worth about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was finance minister. 

The fresh evidence in the case, triggering the arrest, was based on a statement from Indrani Mukerjea, also an accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, who recorded it under section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate on February 17.

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