CBI working at the behest of Centre, says P Chidambaram

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CBI working at the behest of Centre, says P Chidambaram

Former Union minister P Chidambaram, in a petition to the Delhi High Court (HC), has accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of working at the "behest of the central government" and has called the criminal proceedings against him mala fide.

Hitting out at the Modi government, the former Union minister has alleged that the investigating agency is being used to malign his reputation. P Chidambaram has also questioned the veracity of the agency's actions since none of the then Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) officials have been arrested yet.

P Chidambaram, currently lodged under judicial custody in Delhi's Tihar Jail, has claimed in the petition that the then officials of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) did not implicate him in any manner. The officials had maintained, during confrontation by the investigating agency, that the former finance minister had not "given them any directions regarding processing of the file pertaining to INX Media" and that P Chidambaram had only "concurred with their interpretation", the petition read.

While in police custody, the CBI made P Chidambaram confront the then Under Secretary R Prasad, OSD PK Bagga, Director Prabodh Saxena, Joint Secretary Anup Pujari and Additional Secretary Sidhushree Khullar of the Department of Economic Affairs, all of whom were involved in the processing of INX Media's FIPB file.

Earlier this year, Indrani Mukerjea, in her statement, had said that she and her husband -- Peter Mukherjea -- had met P Chidambaram at his office chamber in Delhi's North Block after the application for foreign direct investment (FDI) approval was submitted to the FIPB.

At the meeting, after having understood the issue, P Chidambaram had allegedly asked them to help his son Karti Chidambaram with his business and make "possible overseas remittances" in lieu of the FIPB approval. However, she claimed to be unaware of how much money was paid for this.

She further stated that when Peter Mukerjea had met Karti Chidambaram in 2008 to resolve complications arising out of irregularities in the FIPB approvals, he allegedly asked for $1 million in an overseas account either owned by him or his associates in order to sort out the matter.

When Peter Mukerjea said that the overseas transfer will not be possible, Karti Chidambaram had allegedly suggested two companies -- Chess Management and Advantage Strategic -- as alternatives for the desired payments.

All these payments were handled by Peter Mukerjea, Indrani Mukerjea had claimed, according to the petition submitted in court by the Enforcement Directorate.

However, both P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram have denied these meetings.