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The Special CBI Court today took cognizance of the charge sheet filed by CBI in the INX Media case against former finance minister P Chidambaram, son Karti Chidambaram, and others.
As per the order passed by Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar, P Chidambaram would be produced before Court as an accused in the INX Media case on October 24.
Summons were also issued to other accused persons, including Karti Chidambaram. They would appear before the CBI Court as accused on November 29.
It is CBI’s case that Chidambaram misused his official position while granting FIPB approval to INX Media and INX News Pvt Ltd in lieu of illegal gratification.
Explaining the case, CBI counsel today said,
“The offences pertain to excess amount of FDI approved by the public servants (for INX Media) and then investing the excess amount into the downstream company (INX News) without permission.”
It was further stated that after the initial approval, various complaints were received with respect to the irregularities committed by INX Media. Thus, a communication was sent to INX Media by the FIPB Board to clarify its stand.
Instead of answering it, INX Media sent the letter to Chest Management to prepare a “dubious reply” which was sent to FIPB in pursuance of a conspiracy. Subsequently, the stand of each and every person changed, CBI counsel said.
It was also alleged that Karti Chidambaram’s associate, S Bhaskaraman then raised false invoices for rendering certain professional services to adjust the illegal gratification.
Besides Chidambaram and Karti, the other accused in the case are Karti’s CA, S Bhaskararaman, INX Media’s Peter Mukherjea, bureaucrats Sindhushree Khullar, Ajeet Kumar Dungdung, Rabindra Prasad, Pradeep Kumar Bagga, Prabodh Saxena, Anup K Pujari, INX Media Pvt Ltd, INX News Pvt Ltd, Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd.
Accused turned approver, Indrani Mukherjea also features in the chargesheet.
The accused persons are facing proceedings for commission of offences under sections 120-B, 420, 468, 471 IPC and Sections 9, 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on May 15, 2017.
On August 21, CBI arrested P Chidambaram after his anticipatory bail plea in the case was rejected by the High Court. Chidambaram, who spent a fortnight in police custody after his arrest, was thereafter remanded to judicial custody which ends on October 24.
Peter and Indrani Mukherjea are presently in Byculla Jail in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.
The case is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering.