INX Media: Chidambaram sought payoff in presence of Mukerjeas and a senior journalist says CBI

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Oct 19: Former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram had demanded illegal gratification in the form of overseas payoffs for himself and guarantees for the business interest of his son in exchange for FIPB approval in the INX Media's FDI proposals, the CBI has said.

Further the chargesheet refers to a meeting at Chidambaram's North Block office in which the alleged demand for a payoff was made in the presence of journalist, Vir Sanghvi.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet before a Delhi court on Friday in the INX Media corruption case accusing former finance minister P Chidambaram and others including bureaucrats of causing loss to the exchequer by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

INX media case: CBI files charge sheet against P Chidambaram, 13 others

The chargesheet filed before Special Judge Lal Singh.

The accused in the chargesheet include Peter Mukherjea, chartered accountant S Bhaskaraman; ex-NITI Ayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar; former secretary in Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Anup K Pujari; Prabodh Saxena; Rabindra Prasad; INX Media; ASCL & Chess Management Services.

Accused-turned approver Indrani Mukerjea's also appears in the final report. The report was filed under various sections of the PCA and the Indian Penal Code.
The matter will be taken up for consideration by Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on October 21.

The court on Thursday had sent Chidambaram to custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till October 24 in the INX Media money laundering case "to facilitate proper investigation in the case to reach a logical end".

INX Media case: CBI keeping Chidambaram in jail to humiliate him, SC told

Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had allowed the Enforcement Directorate to quiz Chidambaram for seven days.

While seeking his 14-day custody, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, had told the court that from September 6, the agency examined 12 witnesses and the last one was examined on October 9, adding that the ED also collected some more material during that period.

He said the accused himself had moved plea seeking to surrender in the case on September 5, which was then opposed by the probe agency on the ground that ED was investigating certain aspects of the money laundering which were first required to be probed for effective and meaningful custodial interrogation.

The court had also extended the judicial custody of Chidambaram till October 24 in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI.

Chidambaram, who was also the Union home minister during the UPA rule, was arrested by the CBI on August 21 from his Jor Bagh residence.

INX Media: ED arrests P Chidambaram from Tihar jail

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has reserved verdict on Chidambaram's plea against Delhi high court order denying him bail in the corruption case.

(With agency inputs)

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