ED makes shocking charges against Chidambaram

Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had asked the then promoters of INX Media Group, Peter and Indrani Mukrerjea, to “take care of his son” Karti Chidambaram when they met him for FIPB approval, ED Friday told the Supreme Court.

The Enforcement Directorate said that during the investigation it found Chidambaram had 11 immovable properties and 17 bank accounts abroad and his custodial interrogation was required to unearth the larger conspiracy in the case.

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed any possible re-arrest of P. Chidambaram by the Enforcement Directorate in the INX Media case till Monday, when it will take up the three pleas the Congress leader has moved before it.

One of the pleas, the latest, challenges Thursday’s special CBI court ruling that sent Chidambaram to CBI custody till Monday for questioning in the case. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is refusing to lower the ante on Chidambaram, particularly after Pakistan Senator Rehman Malik expressed support for the former Finance Minister.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said on Friday that Chidambaram’s role in the INX Media case is of suspect. She also added that the conspiracy was conceived and executed in Delhi and now it’s time for the law to catch up with the culprits.

The apex court indicated that it would, on Monday, comprehensively hear arguments both on the legality of the Delhi High Court’s refusal to grant anticipatory bail and the circumstances leading to the arrest on August 21.

The apex court did not intervene in Chidambaram’s plea in the CBI case, but agreed to hear it on Monday when his custodial interrogation by the agency is set to end .

The evidence gathered by the investigators so far link Karti Chidambaram to six private companies — INX media, Aircel maxis, Diageo Scotland Ltd, Katara Holdings, El Forge Ltd, Desert Dune and Essar Steel Ltd (company owned by DHF).

The CBI says that it has clinching evidence in the INX Media case that the media company facing tax heat over foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows paid the ex-finance minister’s son in a quid pro quo arrangement.