INX Media Case: Karti Chidambaram appearance before C.B.I
Vishad Srivastava, B.A. LL.B. (H), Amity University
The Supreme court has directed Karti Chidambaram son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram, to appear before C.B.I on 23 August in issue related with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX media case. The apex court was hearing the centre’s plea against the stay ordered by Madras High Court on the lookout notice against Karti and others in the alleged corruption case. The Supreme Court on 14 August had stayed the Madras High Court order.
What is the Case?
In early 2007, INX media Pvt Ltd, which was co-founded by Indrani and Peter Mukherjea, approached the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for issuing equity shares to three non resident investors under the FDI route. This money according to the FIR was sought for creating and operating a number of television channels. In it’s application to the FIPB, INX also announced its intention to “make a downstream financial investment to the extent of 26% of the issued equity share of INX News Pvt Ltd.” In July 2007 FIPB board approved INX proposal, specifically of FDI of Rs 4.26 Crore but did not proposed the downstream investment in fact FIPB unit of finance ministry noted that downstream investment in INX Media would require separate approval. This is the point where they are now in trouble, the case was filed by C.B.I on this account on 7 persons and that includes Director Indrani Mukherjee, Peter Mukherjee, Karti Chidambaram, Padma Bhaskararaman and other unknown officials of Ministries of Finance (Government of India). The case primarily alleges that INX media has deliberately and in violation of conditions and approval:
- It has made a downstream investment.
- It has generated more than Rs 305 Crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 Crore by issuing shares to foreign investors at a premium of more than Rs 800 per share
So approval was made of 4.62 crore but the investment went upto 305 crore. Moreover they were not having the permission prior from the authorities for F.D.I funding this all makes the IT and C.B.I department to look into the matter with the great insight.
Karti Chidambaram’s Role
C.B.I in this case in it’s FIR it has alleged that INX Media in order to sort out this matter reached out to Karti Chidamabaram son of then Finance Minister P.Chidambaram to deliberately solve this issue at his own level with it’s approach in the Finance Ministery. Karti played this matter well through it’s Chess Management Service Ltd. where Karti was director of this company. Although this allegation has been denied by INX Media through their number of justification, but the FIR clearly depicts that Karti uses it’s power on the officers of Finanace Ministry where he clearly made them to overlook this big flaw and moreover asked INX Media to file a fresh petition of FIPB for the downstream investment for which petition has already been placed but irony is that then ministery approved the new one and had forgotten the older one approval money which was filed to FIPB.
After long time C.B.I finally identifies that Karti Chidambaram has got his payment as it’s company Chess Management Services has received a cheque of nearly 3.2 crore from INX Media Pvt Ltd.
A day after the case was registered raids were being made on the house of Karti and Indrani a cash invoice of R s 10 Lakh is received by Karti’s indirectly owned company for INX Media.
In this week E.D urges Delhi High Court for the interrogation of Indrani Mukherjee but Court move the matter ahead with the date and reason that they have to go through the case. Moreover, Indrani is in jail facing criminal charges in the death of Sheena bora murder case. This case has been registered under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On Friday order given by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and justice DY Chandrachud allowed Karti to be accompanied by the lawyers to CBI headquarters. However Bench has also stated that accompanying lawyers will be sitting in the adjoining room. Court has posted the matter on August 28 and asked both the parties to file their respective reports with regard to investigation and other aspects of case. On August 14 court has not allowed Karti to move out of nation till the investigation and case dispose off.
This is the case which requires to be disposed off as expeditiously as possible as it would set another benchmark of judiciary to work on honest path as it leave no one whoever shall be infront of them whether son of minister or comman man. This quality makes our judiciary supreme and prestigious over executive and legislature where all are viewd from the same eyesight. Many unsuccessful attemptsa have been made by then government to drflect the matter biut it all go in vain. Actually it is the trend which follows where opposite party leaders are always standing in the custody and only time it was broken was the period of emergency which was the dark era of country and moreover huge loss occur to position of CJI but the things changed and now we are in position to carry out our judiciary with simple aim to keep a check and balance on every aspect of government.