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INX Media case: CBI likely to file chargesheet against P Chidambaram after clearance from the Centre

Both Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram are accused in the INX Media scam which involves charges of bribery and lobbying in granting foreign investments worth over Rs 300 crores to INX Media.

After receiving sanction from the Central government to prosecute former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the CBI is likely to file a charge sheet against the latter in the INX Media foreign investment clearance case.

A case was registered in the matter in ay, 2017 against alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX media for receiving overseas funds of Rs. 305 crores in 2007, when Chidambaram was Finance Minister.

Chidambaram was not listed as an accused in the FIR registered by the agency as the Prevention of Corruption Act mandates an investigating agency to get prior sanction from competent authority for prosecution of an accused public servant.

The Law Ministry is reported to have told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that there was “no legal infirmity” in the agency’s request seeking sanction for prosecution. This view has now been communicated to the CBI as well.

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The INX media case has been a thorn at the side of the Chidambaram family. Recently, Chidambaram was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged involvement in the INX media money laundering case.

Both Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram are accused in the INX Media scam which involves charges of bribery and lobbying in granting foreign investments worth over Rs 300 crores to INX Media. INX Media was later known as NewsX, it was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjee of the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. ED had initiated a probe on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s FIR. Chidambaram is accused of misusing his power as the finance minister to grant INX Media an FIPB clearance.

Karti was arrested by agencies last year in February for allegedly lobbying for the Mukerjees, in order to get FIPB clearance from Finance Ministry, which at the time was under his father. The ED had also attached properties and bank deposits of Karti Chidambaram worth around Rs.54 crores in connection with the case, in October last year.

Meanwhile, the CBI and other agencies are also probing a similar case involving Chidambaram and his son, the Aircel-Maxis scam. The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in grant of FIPB approval in Aircel-Maxis deal, while the ED is probing alleged money-laundering related to the deal.

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