The Enforcement Directorate has claimed the Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is presently in CBI custody in the INX media case has properties worth crores spread across not only India but various other countries all over the world.
According to reports, the ED has further claimed that Chidambaram and his associates have been trying to tamper with evidence, trying to sell-off assets abroad and close various foreign bank accounts which he and the other co-accused in the INX media case been operating through shell companies.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the investigating agency has claimed that Chidambaram has bank accounts in as many as 12 countries, namely, Argentina, Austria, British Virgin Iceland, France, Greece, Malaysia, Monaco, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Sri Lanka.
ED has submitted in the court that Chidambaram and the other co-accused have created a web of shell companies in several countries to launder money.
The court finally extended Chidambaram’s CBI custody till 30th August.
According to the charges made against P Chidambaram by CBI and ED, he had granted illegal FIPB approval to six companies in return for kickbacks. And those kickback amounts were invested in movable and immovable properties in India and foreign countries. The agencies have identified several shell companies of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, P Chidambaram’s son, formed both in India and outside India. The agencies have found that although the shell companies are registered under the names of different persons, the Chidambaram’s are actual beneficial owners of them.
On 22nd August, the special CBI court had granted CBI four days custody of P Chidambaram, against the agency’s request of five day’s custody. CBI had presented him at the court after his dramatic arrest on 21st August.
The Supreme Court had also dismissed Chidambaram’s petition against the Delhi High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea against arrest by CBI, as the agency has already arrested him and he needs to apply for regular bail. His other petition seeking protection from arrest by ED was taken by the court today but it didn’t complete, which will continue tomorrow. Till then the court has extended his interim protection against arrest by ED.
The court proceedings are to continue tomorrow too. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta will tomorrow argue on behalf of the ED. Chidambaram’s interim protection from arrest by ED continues till tomorrow.