After the ED tightened its noose around Robert Vadra and Karti Chidambaram for their alleged misdoings, today the central agency had in its office Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram in relation with a money-laundering probe related to INX Media.
The agency also questioned his son Karti for about six hours on Thursday in this case. ED had last year estimated property worth Rs 54 crore under Karti’s name in India and abroad. The Central Investigation Agency had filed a case under the PMLA on the basis of a CBI FIR against the INX media getting the foreign funding. P Chidambaram is accused of granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to the company during his tenure as finance minister.
The agency had filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Karti, INX Media and its directors-including Peter and Indrani Mukherjee and other accused. Karti was arrested on February 28 last year by another central agency, CBI investigating the case. He is alleged to have paid money to get FIPB approval for INX Media in 2007. However, he got bail later.
INX Media was later known as NewsX, it was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjee. Indrani had also alleged that P Chidambaram had asked her to pay a bribe of $1 million to Karti Chidambaram. The CBI had sought custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram in the case earlier also, but it was not granted. However, the agency has managed to secure the government’s permission to prosecute the former union minister in the Aircel-Maxis case also.
Chidambaram was served a summon to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He arrived at the agency’s office in central Delhi at about 11 am. In the past too, Chidambaram has been questioned multiple times in this money laundering case.
The Enforcement Directorate had also questioned Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra on Wednesday and Thursday regarding the dubious land deals and ‘Benami’ properties owned by him abroad. Citing that the answers given by Robert Vadra were tutored, the ED has summoned him to come to their office again today for further interrogation.