Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appear before it in connection with the irregularities in the INX Media case on Wednesday, is being questioned by the agency. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED had asked the senior Congress to join the investigation after his role came under the scanner of the agencies in the INX Media case. Earlier in 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR in the case after alleged irregularities were found in foreign investment approval given to the media house founded by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea.
The CBI had claimed that the media house received Rs 305 crore as foreign investment in 2007. The agency alleged that Karti Chidambaram had taken a bribe for easing the FIPB clearance when his father P Chidambaram was the finance minister.
Delhi: P Chidambaram has reached Enforcement Directorate (ED) headquarter. He was summoned by ED in INX Media Case. pic.twitter.com/2kapHlePic— ANI (@ANI) December 19, 2018
On October 11, the ED attached assets worth Rs 54 crore of the former finance minister's son Karti Chidambaram in India and abroad in connection with the money laundering case. Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the probe agency seized Karti's assets in Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamil Nadu and a flat in Delhi’s Jorbagh. A cottage and house in UK's Somerset and a tennis club in Spain's Barcelona have also been attached by the agency.
The ED said that the attached assets also included Fixed Deposits worth Rs 90 lakh, kept in a bank in Chennai, in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL). “The attached assets collectively amount to Rs 54 crore,” the central probe agency said, according to PTI.
Meanwhile, the Patiala House Court in Delhi adjourned the Aircel Maxis case till January 11 on Tuesday. The court also extended the interim protection of former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram and till January 11 in both the CBI and the ED cases.
In October, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a supplementary chargesheet in the Patiala House Court against the former finance minister and eight others in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel Maxis money laundering case. The court had called Chidambaram “Accused No 1”. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named nine accused in the case including Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies.