Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court had rejected Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail, naming him the ‘kingpin, i.e. key conspirator’ in the INX Media case.
The INX Media case has come back to haunt former finance minister P Chidambaram. The Congress veteran leader landed in hot water after he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation late on the night of August 21 after a highly dramatic press conference and CBI pursuit.
What has happened so far?
Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court had rejected Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail, naming him the ‘kingpin, i.e. key conspirator’ in the INX Media case. The leader had appealed against the order in the Supreme Court, seeking urgent relief and interim protection. The apex court had denied him an immediate hearing and listed his case for August 23. After the Supreme Court’s order, Chidambaram could not be found at his Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi, compelling the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to issue lookout notices against him.
On August 21, he emerged at the Congress headquarters in Delhi to read out his statement, wherein he denied all charges pressed against him. Minutes after the press briefing, the CBI reached Chidambaram’s residence, hopped across the walls to get inside and later arrested him. He was taken to the Central Agency’s headquarters for questioning and on August 22, he remanded to CBI custody till August 26.
On August 23, the Supreme Court granted him interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate. But Chidambaram will continue to be in custody, as the apex court, did not intervene in the CBI case in which he has been sent for custodial interrogation of the agency till August 26.
What is the INX Media case?
The case dates back to May 2017, when the CBI filed an FIR against INX Media for violating the FIPB approval given to the company and receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when P Chidambaram was the union finance minister.
INX Media, now called 9X Media, was a venture promoted by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani, both of whom are currently in jail in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.
In 2007, INX Media had sought FIPB clearance to broadcast a bouquet of channels. As per the CBI, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approved an FDI of Rs 4.62 crore, but did not allow downstream investment. However, INX Media went ahead, and in violation of the FIPB approval, made a downstream investment in INX News and generated Rs 305 crore in foreign investment when the approved amount was Rs 4.62 crore.
How is Chidambaram involved in the INX Media Case?
As per the CBI, in order to avoid punishment, INX Media entered into a ‘criminal conspiracy’ with Karti Chidambaram, knowing that his father was the then finance minister of India. This led to the Finance Ministry ignoring the ‘serious illegalities’ committed by INX Media ‘by abusing their official position’.
Based on the FIR by the CBI, the ED also filed a case against Chidambaram for money laundering. On bail until now, P Chidambaram has blamed the BJP-led government of carrying a "politically-motivated vendetta" against him and his son Karti.For more on this, watch the video by Aakriti Handa Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.