The Enforcement Directorate interrogated former Finance Minister P Chidambaram over charges of money laundering in the INX Media case. The senior Congress leader appeared before the probe agency on Friday morning at 11:00am and answered question for five hours, with only a one-hour lunch break in between. Chidambaram still maintains that this is an instance of political vendetta against him.
P Chidambaram's son Karti had faced ED questions in the INX Media money laundering case a day before, on Thursday. During the interrogation, he denied meeting Indrani and Peter Mukherjea, the prime accused in the money laundering case, in relation to the INX Media deal. He said he met Indrani only once in Byculla Jail when he was taken there to meet her in CBI custody.
In its FIR dated May 15, 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for receiving foreign funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007. During this time, P Chidambaram held the office of Finance Minister in the UPA government and Karti allegedly secured the clearances in lieu of kickbacks.
The probe agencies are also investigating the link between Karti Chidambaram and INX Media through a transaction worth Rs 10 lakh made by INX media to Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, a firm that was indirectly linked to Karti. The allegations suggest Karti took money from INX Media to stop a probe against INX Media for violating FIPB conditions to get investment from Mauritius, and to stop probe against INX Media during the time when Congress-led government was in power.
Earlier Indrani had also given a statement to the probe agencies under Section 164 of the CrPC, claiming that Karti demanded Rs 10 lakh from her and her husband to stop probe in the case. The ED had last year attached Karti's assets worth Rs 54 crore, both in India and abroad.