The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Karti Chidambaram in a case of corruption from the Chennai airport on his return from London on Wednesday morning. A CBI spokesperson confirmed that Karti, who is the son of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was arrested in what has come to be known as INX Media money-laundering case. The case was registered in May 2017. The Congress described the arrest as vendetta and a move to divert attention from the alleged Rs 12,636 crore Punjab National Bank fraud.
“Classical diversionary tactic to hide Scams & Colossal Corruption that is being exposed on a daily basis, be it NiMo+Choksi, D.D. Jewellers and Rotomac. Modi Govt continues it’s vendetta against Sh. P. Chidambaram. Won’t deter the Congress from bringing the truth to the people,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. The arrest comes almost a week after the 46-year-old businessman moved the Supreme Court for a stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s summons against him.
Along with ED, Karti was being probed by the CBI for alleged irregularities relating to foreign direct investments received by INX Media in 2007. The CBI alleges Karti used his influence in the finance ministry to help INX Media get approval for foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors. His father was the finance minister then. INX Media allegedly received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for Rs 4.62 crore investment but received Rs 305 crore by sale of shares at a premium of Rs 800 per share instead of Rs 10 as mentioned by the company in its application.
The CBI alleges that after the income tax department started investigating, INX Media roped in Karti’s company called Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd “to get the issues resolved” by influencing officials of the FIPB. INX Media directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, the couple who are in jail and being tried for the murder of Sheena Bora, are the other people being investigated in the case. Bora was Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter from her first marriage.