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INX Media case: Karti Chidambaram visits ED office, says ‘came to say hello for Dussehra’

FE Online
INX Media case, Karti Chidambaram, PMLA, CBI, INX Media group, P Chidambaram, FIPB

Karti Chidambaram appeared in front of the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday morning for questioning in the Rs 305 crore INX Media case. Former finance minister P Chidambaram. Karti’s father, is lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi for the same case.

47-year-old Karti Chidambaram is seen in a video posted by news agency, ANI, as he walks into the Enforcement Directorate office in Delhi accompanied by a lawyer.

"No, I just thought to come and say hello to them for Dussehra," Chidambaram junior cuttingly responded to mediapersons when he was asked about the reason behind his visit.

Karti Chidambaram is not the only one to have been questioned by the ED. In September, the agency also questioned half a dozen people who had worked under the former Finance Minister during 2004 and 2009. The court was informed by the ED that it was holding background investigations related to the case prior to arresting Chidambaram.

The case so far
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) two months ago amidst high drama in front of his house and was sent to prison on September 05. He has been accused of approving a massive flow of foreign funds into INX Media, which was set up by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea in 2007. His son, Karti Chidambaram is said to have gotten money out of the deal for playing his part.

The two agencies are now probing his case – the Enforcement Directorate is investing alleged money laundering charges against the Congress leader whereas the CBI is probing corruption allegations.

Indrani Mukerjea's testimony
What turned the case against Chidambarams was Indrani Mukerjea's testimony acquired by the agencies.

In September, permission was granted to the CBI to prosecute Chidambaram in addition to the four former senior officers of the Finance Ministry. As per the investigative agency, the four officers worked under the Congress leader and will be named in a chargesheet to be issued in October. The chargesheet will list them as accused in the INX Media case.

SC seeks CBI reply on rejected bail plea
There could be, however, a silver lining amidst the dark clouds for the former minister.

After Chidambaram's bail plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court on September 30 citing his influence, the Supreme Court last week asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the CBI, to respond to Chidambaram’s bail plea and ordered the matter for hearing on October 15.

The case has also alarmed the bureaucracy. Last week, 71 retired bureaucrats wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing concern over 'selective targeting' of retired or serving officers to gain "narrow political advantages".