INX Media Case: CBI Takes Karti to Mumbai for Further Questioning
After intense drama over the course of two days, the Patiala House Court on Thursday, 1 March, sent Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, to CBI custody till 6 March in the INX Media case. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 12 noon on 6 March.
However, the CBI had sought 14-day custody in its remand application.
Speaking after the court order on Thursday, Karti said, “I will be vindicated eventually”.
The court’s order came a day after Karti was arrested by the CBI at Chennai airport. On Wednesday, he was also produced before the Delhi court, which sent him to one-day police custody. The CBI has currently taken him to Mumbai for further questioning.
- Karti Chidambaram has been remanded in CBI custody till 6 March
- Speaking after the court order, Karti Chidambaram said, “I will be vindicated eventually”
- The order by the Patiala House Court on Thursday, 1 March, came soon after the arguments regarding the INX Media case concluded
- Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta said on Thursday that Karti Chidambaram had been uncooperative, and had asked for 14-day custody
- The CBI had said the whole purpose of Wednesday’s custody was defeated as the doctors shifted Karti to a Cardiac Care Unit, when he did not even complain of anything
- Meanwhile Singhvi, counsel for Karti, had countered the arguments saying that it was all motivated and there were no grounds of arrest given to his client
- Speaking on behalf of Karti, Singhvi on Wednesday said, “I’m not a Hindustan ‘leaver,’ I’m a Hindustan returner”
- Karti was arrested on the basis of statements given by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who claimed P Chidambaram asked for their help, CBI said
Karti Taken to Byculla Jail, To Meet Mukerjeas Separately
After bringing him to Mumbai, the CBI took Karti to the Byculla jail, where he will be meeting with Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea separately, reports ANI.
CBI Takes Karti to Mumbai for Further Questioning
As reported by ANI, the CBI has taken Karti to Mumbai for further questioning in his role in the INX Media Case.
NDTV reports that sources in the CBI have mentioned that Karti will probably be confronted alongside Indrani Mukerjea, the former owner of INX Media. Mukerjea had told the Enforcement Directorate last week that her husband Peter Mukerjea and her had met P Chidambaram to seek government approval to foreign investment proposals that valued a rough Rs. 300 crore in their company.
INX Media & Aircel-Maxis: Long Legal Battle Awaits The Chidambarams
A long legal battle is in the offing for P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram as the father-son duo are in the radar of the probe agencies in another case concerning the Aircel-Maxis deal, reported PTI.
P Chidambaram's role in granting FIPB approval to an offshore firm in the Aircel-Maxis deal is under investigation by the agency.
'I Will be Vindicated Eventually': Karti Chidambaram After Court Order
Speaking after the Patiala House Court sent him to CBI custody till 6 March, Karti Chidambaram said, “I will be vindicated eventually.”
The Chidambarams Leave the Patiala House Court
P Chidamabaram and his son Karti have left the Patiala House Court after the hearing against the latter in the INX Media case.
No Appeal to be Filed Against the Order, Say Karti's Lawyers
The next hearing is at 12 noon on 6 March. According to Karti’s lawyers, no appeal will be filed against the order.
Karti Chidambaram Sent to CBI Custody Till 6 March
Delhi’s Patiala House Court sent Karti Chidambaram to CBI custody till 6 March in the INX Media case.
The court has allowed Karti’s lawyer to meet him for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening every day. The judge has also said that medicines can be given as per prescription. However, the request for being given home food was not allowed.
The Patiala House Court allowed the custodial interrogation of Karti by the CBI for five days, saying there was a need to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media case and his presence would serve some important purposes connected with the investigation, reported PTI.
The court said Karti's CBI custody was necessary to confront him with documents and co-accused, as well as to probe the role of others involved in the case, while the agency maintained that three mobile phones have been recovered from him which needed to be examined.
I am of the view that the police custody of accused Karti Chidambaram is necessary to confront the accused with documents, co-accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy and role of other accused persons involved in the case. Hence, it would be appropriate to grant further custody to CBI. Accordingly, accused Karti Chidambaram is remanded to five-day police custody.Judge
Arguments Conclude, Order to be Pronounced Soon
The arguments in the INX Media Case have concluded. The judge has said he will give his order on whether to grant CBI custody of Karti Chidambaram in half an hour.
No Necessity for Arrest Has Been Shown in the Case: Singhvi
Singhvi concluded his arguments by asserting that the three factors to be considered by the judge for remand – tampering, flight risk, non-cooperation – do not apply to Karti. He asserted that no necessity for arrest has been shown in the case, and argued there was no need to grant custody for even one more day.
Responding to Singhvi’s arguments, Tushar Mehta said he will show how they have acted in good faith, with no mala fide intention throughout the investigation. He also attempted to counter Singhvi’s claim regarding questioning of FIPB office bearers, pointing out that the CBI has spoken to the FIPB committee, including all the secretaries. He, however, did not reveal what constituted their statements.
Mehta also argued that they can corroborate Indrani Mukerjea’s 164 statement.
Why Haven't the Then FIPB Head and Secretaries Been Questioned: Singhvi
Singhvi asserted that neither the then FIPB head D Subbarao nor the six secretaries, who took the board decisions, have been questioned by the CBI. He said none of them has even given a statement.
He claimed that Karti was never a shareholder or director of the companies alleged to have received money from INX.
Watch: Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala Addresses a Press Conference on the INX Media Case
'Whole Purpose of Wednesday's Custody Was Defeated': CBI
With the arguments in the INX Media case underway, the CBI said the whole purpose of Wednesday’s custody was defeated when, after Karti’s medical examination, the doctors got him shifted to the Cardiac Care Unit.
It was surprising because Karti didn’t complain of anything. He was perfectly fine in the morning but gave evasive answers when the CBI questioned him.CBI
The investigative agency also said that there is clear evidence of links between Karti Chidambaram and various companies.
We have emails and invoices indicating money was given to Advantage Strategic Consultancy Private Limited (ASCPL) in the time period when INX media received favours.CBI
Mehta Asks For 14-Day Custody; Singhvi Says It's All Motivated
Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta tried to counter Singhvi’s argument from Wednesday that Karti’s cooperation has been demonstrated by him coming back from London. The former said it was irrelevant when there are serious economic offences that need proper investigation, wherein custodial interrogation is crucial.
Mehta concluded his arguments saying he has shown that there is a strong case, and asked for 14-day custody.
Meanwhile, Singhvi said that it’s all motivated, asserting that Karti has already cooperated in the case. He listed three factors to be kept in mind for the judge to refuse bail: tampering, flight risk, non-cooperation. He asked how the CBI can allege non-cooperation without issuing new summons which were ignored.
During the arguments, Singhvi said though Karti Chidambaram will cooperate and answer all questions, there is no need for custody. He alleged that the prosecution was leaking information to the press (Indrani Mukerjea’s statement), adding that there were no grounds of arrest given to his client.
Singhvi also said that at best, the CBI wants to confront Karti with Indrani/Peter Mukerjea, which can be done without arrest. He asserted that Karti is willing to accept conditions, including confinement to Delhi and mandatory reporting to the police.
Karti's CA to Remain in Jail Till 7 March
Karti Chidambaram's chartered accountant S Bhaskaran, arrested in the INX Media money laundering case, will remain in jail till 7 March as Special CBI Court reserves order on the bail plea.
The Enforcement Directorate in the Patiala House Court opposed Bhaskaran’s bail plea order.
P Chidambaram Arrives in Court
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram arrived at Delhi’s Patiala House Court where his son, Karti’s, hearing is underway in the INX Media case.
CBI Seeks 14-Day Remand
Tushar Mehta, the Additional Solicitor General of India, said that the CBI had minimal time to question Karti on Wednesday.
Karti Chidambaram has been uncooperative. CBI needs a custody for another 14 days (minimum) to question him.ASG Tushar Mehta
Additional Solicitor General of India appearing for CBI
Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta is appearing for CBI as the special public prosecutor in the INX Media case.
Karti Arrives in Court
After being sent to one-day judicial custody on Wednesday, Karti Chidambaram was brought in by the CBI team to Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Thursday, 1 March. The hearing in the INX Media case is scheduled to begin at 2.30 pm.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing Karti in the case, also arrived at the Delhi court.
CBI a Credible Investigating Agency: Rajnath Singh
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, 1 March, said “the CBI is a credible investigating agency and is doing its job” in the INX Media money laundering case.
The Congress had earlier termed Karti’s arrest as ‘vendetta politics’ and said the CBI’s move was ‘motivated.’
Questioning Underway at CBI Headquarters
Karti Chidambaram’s questioning is underway at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. ANI quoted its sources saying that “he is not cooperating” with the officials.
Karti to be Produced Before Delhi Court
Former finance minister P Chidambaram's son, Karti Chidambaram, will be produced before the Patiala House Court on Thursday, 1 March, in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
The CBI is expected to move fresh application for remand of Karti Chidambaram. Special Judge Sunil Rana will hear the case at 2.30 pm in Delhi's Patiala House Court.
Karti Chidambaram Sent to 1-Day Police Custody
Delhi's Patiala House Court, on Wednesday, 28 February, sent Karti Chidambaram to one-day police custody in the INX Media money laundering case.
Forty-six-year-old Karti was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand and the CBI sought his custodial interrogation for 15 days claiming that he was not cooperating in the probe, reported PTI.
The duty magistrate remanded him to one-day CBI custody and asked the agency to produce Karti before the concerned judge on Thursday, 1 March.
When Karti was brought to the Patiala House district court premises and was taken to the court room, he told the media, “It is absolutely a political vendetta. I will be vindicated.”
CBI Seeks Karti's Custody on Grounds of Indrani Mukerjea's Statement
Karti Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on the basis of confessional statements of INX Media Limited directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, alleging that they paid $7 lakh to him on the instructions of his father P Chidamabaram, as quid pro quo for a FIPB clearance, officials said.
The statements of the Mukerjeas were recorded by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money laundering angle in the case
Chidambaram had asked them to “help the business of his son and make foreign remittances for the purpose,” the officials said, quoting from the statements of the Mukerjeas.
CBI Seeks 15-Day Custody of Karti
The CBI has sought 15-day custody of Karti Chidambaram in a remand application in the INX Media case.
'Karti's Arrest is Motivated': Abhishek Manu Singhvi
During the hearing at the Patiala House Court in connection with the INX Media case, Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that it is the most bizarre case against Karti Chidambaram by the CBI.
Asserting that Karti's arrest is motivated, Singhvi claimed that he has not been given a single summon in the last six months, reported ANI.
Seemingly talking on behalf of Karti, Singhvi said in the court:
I’m not a Hindustan “leaver”, I’m a Hindustan returner. Is this less than Ashwathama’s half truth in Mahabharata?Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Singhvi also asserted that Karti "has no connection with Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited that allegedly received kickbacks” and has "always cooperated with the ED and CBI in the case.”
Watch: Congress Addresses Press Conference on Karti Chidambaram's Arrest
Addressing a press conference on the arrest of Karti Chidambaram by the CBI earlier on Wednesday, 28 February, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the "PM and his ministers are using political witch-hunt and malicious intent to deflect the heat from the bank scam and losses to the public exchequer".
Political persecution of P Chidambaram and his son by the puppet CBI to serve the agenda of their political master is nothing but a cog in this wheel.Randeep Surjewala
He also called Wednesday’s arrest as "out of the blue, 11 years after the so-called incident and after due appearance before the CBI and submission of all documents."
"The FIR till today does not mention or name Karti Chidambaram as an accused," Surjewala further claimed.
'Karti Chidambaram Evasive, Made Incorrect Statements': CBI
During the hearing at the Patiala House Court in connection with the INX Media case, the CBI said:
Karti Chidambaram is evasive in his replies and investigation. He made incorrect statements with respect to evidence. All this delays the conclusion of investigation.CBI
Karti's Chartered Accountant Files Bail Plea
S Bhaskararaman, the chartered accountant for Karti Chidambaram, has filed a bail plea in the INX Media case. The ED had arrested Bhaskararaman on 16 February from a hotel in Delhi, reported ANI.
Karti Being Taken to Patiala House Court
Karti Chidambaram is now being taken to Patiala House Court after the necessary formalities were completed at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. He was arrested by the investigative agency at the Chennai airport earlier in the day in connection with the INX Media case.
Karti at CBI Headquarters
Karti Chidambaram has reached the CBI headquarters in New Delhi, where the agency is completing necessary formalities including a medical test before he is produced before the Patiala House Court in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi to Appear For Karti in Court
Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi will appear for Karti Chidambaram in Delhi's Patiala House Court later in the day.
Earlier on Wednesday, Singhvi had raised doubts over the timing of Karti's arrest, “when the nation is questioning the Centre on Chhota Modi,” referring to PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi.
Karti Enroute Delhi's Patiala House Court
Karti Chidambaram is being taken to Delhi’s Patiala House Court under CBI custody.
CBI Team Reaches Delhi With Karti
The CBI team arrives in Delhi with the 46-year-old Karti Chidambaram, ANI reported. Karti would be produced before a designated court by the investigative agency later in the day.
P Chidambaram Confronted by Media at Heathrow Airport
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram refused to answer any questions on the arrest of his son, Karti, when media personnel confronted him at London’s Heathrow Airport, CNN News18 reported.
No Justification to Arrest Karti Without Charge-Sheet: Prashant Bhushan
Senior lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan tweeted that there was no justification to arrest Karti Chidambaram without a charge-sheet, “since there was no danger of his (sic) fleeing the country.”
He added that this was a "show" while Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya are “allowed to loot and scoot.”
This is Law, Not Vendetta: BJP
After Congress termed the arrest of Karti Chidambaram as "vendetta politics," BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said no one should consider themselves above the law.'
No one should consider oneself above law of the country. If corrupt are being jailed and law is taking its course, I see no reason why any political party should cry vendetta.Sambit Patra to ANI
CBI Team Leaves for Delhi
The CBI team, along with Karti Chidambaram, has left for New Delhi from Chennai where he would be produced before a designated court in the late afternoon, PTI reported.
Trail Will Ultimately Lead to P Chidambaram: Subramanian Swamy
Rajya Sabha member and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that all the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearances that were given by P Chidambaram, during his tenure as finance minister, are under scanner.
Swamy said that there are 25 such cases and the trail will ultimately lead to P Chidambaram.
Karti has used all the usual tricks that money launderers do. All this corruption happened because Mr Chidambaram approved projects which should not have been approved like Aircel-Maxis, INX Media. Therefore, the trail will lead to P Chidambaram.Subramanian Swamy, BJP leader
Karti to be Brought in to Delhi Later Today
Karti Chidambaram, who is being held by the CBI at the Chennai airport, will be brought in to New Delhi later on Wednesday, an official told IANS.
Facing Heat in Nirav Modi Case, This is BJP's Attempt to Manage Headlines: DMK
Congress ally, the DMK, hit out at the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over the arrest of Karti Chidambaram.
Karthi Chidambaram’s arrest is a clear attempt by the BJP to manage headlines, as they are unable to handle the heat of the Nirav Modi fraud case.Saravanan Annadurai, DMK spokesperson
Congress Calls Karti's Arrest a 'Classic Diversionary Tactic'
The Congress termed the arrest of senior leader P Chidambaram’s son, Karti, a “classic diversionary tactic” of the Narendra Modi government to hide their “corrupt model” which got exposed with Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fraud case.
Classic diversionary tactic of the Modi government to hide their own corrupt governance model that is being exposed on a daily basis – be it Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Dwarka Das Seth Jewellers. The BJP government continues its vendetta and vindictive politics to target opponents. However, it will not stop the Congress from exposing the truth to the people.Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress spokesperson
Congress will not be deterred by unleashing of vendetta against P Chidambaram and his family.Randeep Surjewala, Congress
P Chidambaram's Son, Karti, Arrested by CBI
Karti Chidambaram was arrested early on Wednesday, 28 February, by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) at the Chennai Airport, PTI reported. Karti was arrested when he returned from the United Kingdom in the morning, officials told PTI.
The son of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has reportedly been arrested due to non-cooperation in the INX Media case.
Karti's chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman was arrested from a five-star hotel in Delhi on 16 February.
What is the INX Media Case?
Karti Chidambaram’s name came up in the case that relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media, when his father and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister during the previous UPA regime.
On 15 May, 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR against Karti Chidambaram on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, accepting gratification by corrupt or illegal means, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier claimed that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that S Bhaskararaman, a chartered accountant, had been assisting Karti to manage his "ill-gotten wealth" in India and abroad.
The ED alleged that INX Media had deliberately, and in violation of the conditions of the approval, made a downstream investment of 26 percent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without specific approval of the FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.
To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED has alleged.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)