Investigative agencies are likely to question P Chidambaram on the source of funding of his son Karti's assets in Spain and UK, according to a report. The former finance minister is facing arrest in the INX Media case after the Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea, but he has been untraceable since Tuesday evening. The ED has now issued a lookout notice against him.
The ED had attached properties to the tune of Rs 54 crore, in October last year, belonging to Karti Chidambaram in India, Spain and the UK in connection with the INX Media case.
>The foreign properties that had been attached included a cottage and house in Somerset, UK, worth Rs 8.67 crore - which is registered in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL), a consultancy firm linked to Karti - and a tennis club in Barcelona valued at Rs 14.57 crore. P Chidambaram may now be questioned on these foreign properties, The Times of India reported. In addition, agricultural land worth Rs 25 lakh in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, two bungalows in Ooty worth Rs 4.25 crore, and property worth Rs 16 crore in the capital's posh Jorbagh colony had been attached.
The ED order, subsequently confirmed by the authority on March 29, claimed that the above properties had been purchased using proceeds of crime generated through bribes that Karti had received in the INX Media case. Karti Chidambaram had challenged the possession notice and attachment order on the grounds that the ED was yet to file a chargesheet in that case.
That apart, the ED also attached Karti's fixed deposits of Rs 9.23 crore in Indian Overseas Bank's Nungambakkam branch in Chennai and another FD worth Rs 90 lakh in the name of ASCPL with DCB Bank in Chennai, The Times of India reported.
The ED claimed to have "identified payments of Rs 3.09 crore by Peter Mukerjea to ASCPL and associated entities controlled by Karti Chidambaram through manipulated debit notes", adding that the debit notes "were raised on the directions of Karti Chidambaram to show some transaction which in fact did not occur". The agency further claimed that the investigations had revealed that the funds received by associated entities were channelled back into ASCPL.
"The funds received by ASCPL were invested and ASCPL also purchased shares of Vasan Health Care. A part of these shares were sold at a profit of nearly Rs 41 crore," it alleged.
The ED is hopeful of getting Chidambaram senior's custody to question him on the source of money with which Karti purchased the above mentioned property.