CBI Seeks Court Nod to Conduct Narco Analysis Test on ‘Evasive’ Karti Chidambaram

Special CBI Judge OP Saini agreed to hear the plea at 2 pm Monday after the probe agency told the court that custodial interrogation of Karti Chidambaram was required in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought the permission of a special court to conduct a narco analysis on Karti Chidambaram, who is an accused in the INX Media money laundering case.

The agency has moved two more applications in the court of Justice Sunil Rana. It has sought a production warrant for Indrani Mukerjea, who was the director in INX Media, and Karti's Chartered Accountant S Bhaskaraman, so that the accused can be "confronted with both of them."

The third application been filed to seek permission of the court to record the statement of Indrani, so the agency could have her statement on record. Till now, it has been relying on the statement she gave to the Enforcement Directorate in a parallel investigation.

During the last hearing, CBI had submitted the confession of Indrani under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, in which Mukherjee had stated that she and her husband, Peter Mukerjea had met Karti to discuss FIPB approval to INX media and paid a bribe of 7 lakh USD to Karti.

According to sources, the decision to seek a narco-analysis test was taken because Karti has remained "evasive" in his answers to the CBI.

CBI counsel and additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, had on Tuesday, told the court that Karti’s interrogation has not yielded much result till now and he only answers “the case is politically motivated”.

As per law, a narco analysis can only be conducted after seeking permission from the court. Narco analysis technique involves intravenous administration of sodium pentothal, a drug which lowers inhibitions on part of the subject and induces the person to talk freely.

The agency is likely to move the applications on March 9, when the court would hear the case again.

Special CBI Judge Sunil Rana had on March 6 extended CBI’s custody of Karti for three days after the agency claimed to have come across a new piece of “concrete” evidence against the son of former finance minister P Chidambaram.

The court on Wednesday also deferred its order on the bail plea filed by S Bhaskararaman, who has also been arrested in the case. Special CBI judge Sunil Rana said the order will be pronounced on March 12.

Bhaskararaman sought bail on the ground that he was not required for custodial interrogation and no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody.

The CA was sent to jail on February 26 on expiry of his custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had arrested him on February 16 from a five-star hotel in the heart of the national capital.

Karti's name had cropped up in the case relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was the union finance minister during the previous UPA regime.

The ED had earlier claimed that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his "ill-gotten wealth" in India and abroad.