At the heart of the case against former Union Minister P Chidambaram lies the sensational statement of Indrani Mukerjea, the wife of former media mogul Peter Mukerjea. Indrani, the prime accused in the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora, had turned approver in the INX Media case recently. She had reportedly told the probe agencies that it was Chidambaram himself, who had personally told her and her husband to help his son Karti in order to get the FIPB clearance.
In her statement, Indrani had said that she and Peter met Chidambaram at his North Block office, where he told about the way to get the funds.According to an NDTV report, Indrani had the agencies that the names of two firms -- 'Chess Management' and 'Advantage Strategic' -- were discussed. These were the firms reportedly used to send the money to Karti Chidambaram. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had submitted to the court Indrani's statement, according to which the two promoters and a senior company executive had approached Chidambaram for foreign direct investment approval after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rejected their request for a stake sale to the tune of 26 per cent.
The former finance minister cleared it for a sale of Rs 4.62 crore only. According to Indrani's statement, the request was approved on the condition that Peter help Chidambaram's son Karti in his business and make possible overseas remittances in lieu of the FIPB approval.Quoting the FIR that was filed in 2017, according to a Hindustan Times report, Karti Chidambaram advised INX Media to explain the investment as having been cleared by FIPB and that the excess "foreign inflow was justified as premium received."In her statement, Indrani had also said that she met Karti Chidambaram at a hotel in Delhi hotel and offered $1 million to sort the matter. The two reportedly agreed to settle the amount at Rs 3.5 crore, which was paid to Advantage Strategic, a company Karti owns through a subsidiary.
On May 15, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered an FIR in the case alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during P Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister.Earlier, Indrani had told a special CBI court that she was ready to undergo a lie-detector test in the Sheena Bora murder case.
She had submitted a handwritten application before special judge JC Jagdale, conveying her willingness to undergo a polygraph (commonly known as lie detector) test. In her plea, Mukerjea had claimed, “she was emotionally more settled... and it is only right and proper in the name of justice that I undergo the polygraph test.” However, the CBI has rejected her plea saying that there are more than 30 witnesses in the case.
In 2015, Indrani had refused to give her consent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to subject her to a lie-detector test.According to the law, an accused cannot be made to undergo such tests without his or her consent. "In October 2015, I had not given consent...because I was under tremendous pressure not to undergo the test," she said in the application.However, Karti Chidambaram today dismissed the reports of him meeting Indrani and said that he never met her. He added that it was only in jail he met her for the first time.