[INX Media Case] Special CBI Court Exempts P Chidambaram & Karti Chidambaram Gets Exemption From Physical Appearance
Special CBI Court at Rouse Avenue in Delhi exempted former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram from personal appearance only for today’s hearing i.e., on Wednesday in the INX Media money laundering case. The court also exempted the physical appearance of another accused S Bhaskaraman on account of COVID-19.
Accused Peter Mukherjea appeared in person before the Court and moved a bail application in the case. The Court then listed the matter for scrutiny of documents on April 16.
The FIR was registered by the CBI on allegations that Indrani Mukerjea, Director and Pratim Mukerjea, Chief Operating Officer of INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti P. Chidambram, Director, Chess Management Services and in pursuance of such conspiracy, penal actions arising out of illegal acts committed by INX Media in receiving excess Foreign Direct Investment than the amount approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and unauthorized downstream investment by INX Media in INX News without the approval of FIPB, were got scuttled by Karti P. Chidambram by influencing the public servants of FIPB Unit, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Ministry of Finance (MoF), by virtue of his relations with P. Chidambram, the then Union Finance Minister.
It was alleged that in pursuance of the criminal conspiracy and under the influence of Karti P. Chidambram and P. Chidambram, these unknown officers / officials of the MoF had abused their official positions and had caused undue favours to INX Media and as a consideration for such acts of favoritism, INX Media had paid huge amounts to some companies in which Karti P. Chidambram had a substantial interest, directly or indirectly.
Further investigation of the said case also revealed that four more fake invoices in the names of four other companies for different amounts, totalling to approximately US$ 700,000 (equivalent to Rs.3.2 crores), in the month of September, 2008 were also raised on INX Media.
Later on, a charge sheet for commission of offences punishable u/s 120B IPC read with Sections 420, 468, 471 IPC and under Sections 9 and 13 (1)(d) read with 13 (2) of the PC Act, 1988 and substantive offences thereof on the part of concerned accused persons was ultimately filed by the CBI against total 14 accused persons, including the accused Karti P. Chidambaram, P.Chidambaram, Peter Mukerjea, S. Bhaskaran Raman, INX Media, INX News, ASCPL, ASCSPL, CMSPL and some other officials of the concerned ministry involved in commission of alleged offences.
However, Indrani Mukerjea was not charge-sheeted in the said case as she had been granted a pardon and was made an approver in the case.
P Chidambaram was then arrested by the CBI from his residence in relation to the case on August 21, 2019, a day after his plea for anticipatory bail was rejected by the Delhi High Court and had opined that prima facie, the allegations were serious in nature and that P Chidambaram had played an active and important role. He was finally released from Tihar Jail after the Supreme Court granted him bail in the ED case on December 4, 2019 nearly after 2 months of being in custody.
Therefore after going through the contents of the complaint and documents available the special judge found "sufficient material and grounds" to proceed in the matter against all the ten accused persons out of which 6 are companies, for offences under Sec. 3 read with Sec. 70 of the PMLA which is punishable u/s 4 of the Act.