The Enforcement Directorate has filed a chargesheet against former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case. This is the first chargesheet filed by the financial probe agency in the case naming P Chidambaram and his son under the Prevention Of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
A password-protected e-chargesheet was filed against Chidambaram, his son Karti and others before the court of Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar in Delhi on Monday.
The judge has directed the agency to file a hard copy of the chargesheet once the court starts functioning normally.
On August 21, he was arrested by the CBI in the INX Media case. The ED had arrested senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on October 16 in connection with a related graft case. The CBI on October 18, last year had filed a chargesheet against the father, son and 11 others in the INX Media case.
P Chidambaram, his son Karti and some other bureaucrats are being probed for causing loss to the exchequer by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2017.
Apart from P Chidambaram, the CBI in its chargesheet had named – INX Media Pvt Ltd (presently 9X Media Private Limited), INX News Pvt Limited, (presently Direct News), Karti P Chidambaram, Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, Ajeet Kumar Dungdung (the then section officer of FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance), Rabindra Prasad (the then undersecretary FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance), Pradeep Kumar Bagga (the then OSD, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance), Prabodh Saxena (then Director, FIPB Unit, Finance Ministry), Anup K Pujari (the then Joint Secretary, Foreign Trade, DEA), Sindhushree Khullar (the then additional secretary, DEA, FM), S Bhaskararaman (Chartered Accountant) and Peter (Pratim) Mukherjea (the then director INX Media Limited).
Chidambaram was lodged at Tihar Jail for over 106 days after getting bail from the Supreme Court on December 4, 2020.
The senior Congress leader maintains that as he is a vocal critic of the government, he is being targeted by CBI and ED. Karti Chidambaram has also denied all the charges levelled against him by the ED.