Delhi court sends Karti Chidambaram to CBI custody for a day

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday remanded Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, to one-day custody in the INX media case.

The FIU alert was picked up by the investigation wing of the Income-Tax (I-T) Department in Mumbai, which subsequently forwarded the case to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was arrested in connection with the INX Media case corruption case.

In August 25, 2015, the ED had summoned two directors of Advantage, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and they were also interrogated in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case.

The arrest of Karti Chidambaram brings into light yet another public figure and relative of a senior politician getting at the receiving end of law and in this case, the offence relates to money laundering and alleged involvement in extensive global business activities, many of them involving tax havens.

"She is alleged to have told the CBI during questioning in the INX Media case that the help of Chess Management Service was sought".

In the FIR filed by the CBI on May 15, 2017, the investigation agency has accused Karti of brokering for the INX Media for foreign investment permits from the Union finance ministry, for which payments were made by INX to Advantage Strategic Consultancy Private Limited (Advantage India), with its subsidiary in Singapore (Advantage Singapore).

Sources in the CBI said they detained Karti when he landed at Chennai airport after his foreign trip.

The CBI has alleged that INX Media flouted the conditional approval of FIPB and invested over Rs305 crore in the firm against the approved FDI inflow of Rs4.62 crore.

As per PTI reports, the CBI FIR also alleges that invoices of approximately Rs 3.5 crore were raised in favour of INX group in the name of other companies in which Karti had substantial interests "directly or indirectly".

The agency claimed that Karti's frequent foreign visits have confirmed the "apprehensions of his tampering with the evidence lying overseas against him and others in the form of secret note received from the ministry of finance". Questioning the grounds for arrest, Mr. Singhvi said Karti had appeared before the CBI on August 22 and 28 a year ago, after which no summonses were issued. Karti Chidambaram was questioned several times by the ED. Chidambaram has been accused of giving post factor clearance for the enhanced investment as the head of the FIPB.

In 2008, the media firm launched NewsX, an English news channel.

The other prime suspects in the INX Media case are Peter Mukherjea and Indrani Mukherjea who were the directors of the company. In April 2010, the Hindi GEC of the company was sold to Zee Network for Rs 64 crore.

"Out of the blue arrest is made today, 11 years after the so-called incident and after a due appearance before CBI and submission of all documents".

Karti is facing a probe for his alleged role in facilitating the FIPB's clearance for INX Media when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

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