Karti’s firm took Rs.50 lakh bribe for issuing visas to Chinese nationals for Vedanta Group
On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted nationwide raids at various premises linked to former Finance and Home Minister P Chidambaram and son Karti in a bribery case of issuing Chinese Visas to Vedanta Group’s power project in Punjab in 2010. As per the CBI’s FIR, Karti’s controversial firm Advantage Strategic Consulting accepted Rs.50 lakh for issuing 300 Visas to Chinese technicians for installing Vedanta Group’s power project in Punjab. The case was registered based on ED’s letter to CBI in 2018 after the Aircel-Maxis raid conducted by the Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh.
Chidambaram was Home Minister when his son Karti took bribes to clear the Chinese Visas for Vedanta Group. Interestingly, Chidambaram was Anil Agarwal led Vedanta Group’s International Director till May 2014. Chidambaram family’s Chartered Accountant Bhaskararaman is also involved in the case, according to CBI officials as he was instrumental in bribe money transfer.
“There was a power project in Punjab, Talwandi Sabo Power Project, whose implementation there was a tie-up with a Chinese company. The company wanted to get some employees to India over and above the ceiling fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In 2011, they approached Karti, who facilitated the same by taking a bribe of Rs.50 lakh,” a CBI official said.
The Talwandi Sabo Power Project is a coal-based, power plant located in Banawala village in Punjab’s Mansa district. The power plant is operated by TSPL, a subsidiary of Vedanta. ED found that the Vedanta Group had made the offer to Bhaskarraman in 2011. The ED assertions were based on certain email communications it had retrieved from the hard disk of Bhaskarraman’s laptop.
The ED at the time drew CBI’s attention to an earlier letter it had written to the agency in June 2018 regarding “digital evidence retrieved from a hard disk of S Bhaskarraman, CA of Chidambaram family from the premises of Karti P Chidambaram, relating to a request of the grant of 300 visas to Chinese nationals by the Home Ministry”. The note claimed that the agency has now recovered more emails that suggest that Vedanta offered Rs.50 lakh to Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) in August 2011 for this deal
The ED reference had said, “…one Shri Vikas Makharia of Vedanta group offered a sum of Rs 50 lakh to ASCPL in return for the grant of visas. This offer was made via email dated 27.08.2011 …Bhaskarraman. This was followed by another email dated 02.09.2011, where Makharia thanked Bhaskarraman for the grant of visas by the Ministry of Home Affairs to Talwandi Sabo Power Limited.”
Karti’s firms like Advantage Strategic Consulting was involved in all kind of briberies when father Chidambaram was Home and Finance Minister. ED’s then Investigating Officers Rajeshwar Singh’s findings (now BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh from March 2022) have exposed the corruption of the Chidambaram family. In his letter to CBI, Rajeshwar Singh detailed more than eight cases of clear-cut corruption, gathered during the joint ED-IT raid on the Aircel-Maxis probe. CBI then registered the INX Media bribe case and now filed Vedanta Chinese Visa bribery. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy made the Chidambaram family’s entire corruption by amassing properties in 14 countries and 21 foreign bank accounts. PGurus published these details in a lengthy report titled ‘Chidambara Rahasya”.
 Chidambara Rahasya – Details of huge secret assets & foreign bank accounts of Chidambaram Family – Mar 15, 2017, PGurus.com
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