ED arrests former Finance Minister Chidambaram family’s Finance Manager in INX Media bribe case

With the key Finance man of the Chidambaram family arrested by the ED, the heat is on the former Finance Minister

With the key Finance man of the Chidambaram family arrested by the ED, the heat is on the former Finance Minister
P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday arrested Bhaskar Raman, the finance manager of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s family in the INX Media bribe case. Bhaskar Raman’s arrest is a big blow to Chidambaram and son Karti as he is handling the Indian and foreign company affairs of the family empire. A day after grilling of Karti for 10 hours in the INX Media bribe case, the ED on Friday morning arrested Chidambaram family’s Chartered Accountant Bhaskar Raman, who is a Director in most of the firms of the former Finance Minister’s son’s firms in India and abroad. The ED also conducted raids at Karti’s associates CBN Reddy, M Rajesh, Vishwanathan and Padma Vishwanathan’s homes and offices in Chennai. Bhaskar Raman was arrested from Taj Man Singh in Delhi in the morning and sent to ED’s custody for five days.

It is expected that in coming days ED and CBI going to arrest more persons, in this case, hitting Chidambaram and son.

ED has already unearthed the curious WILL documents of Bhaskar Raman, CBN Reddy, M Rajesh, Vishwanathan and Padma Vishwanathan. These curious WILLs executed by these people say that all their properties after death belong to Karti and his daughter due to their love and affection towards father Chidambaram!!!!.

Producing Bhaskar Raman before the Special Judge Sunil Rana, ED said that the Chartered Accountant’s custody and interrogation is needed to unearth the money trails in INX Media money trail leading to Karti and father Chidambaram. Bhaskar Raman is believed to be the person looking after the former Finance Minister’s family’s financial affairs and their firms in India and abroad. The ED counsels argued that INX Media’s “deceitful and fallacious” FIPB proposal was approved by the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

It is expected that in coming days ED and CBI going to arrest more persons, in this case, hitting Chidambaram and son. Meanwhile, Madras High Court has allowed Karti to go abroad and canceling the six months long Look Out Circular (LOC) issued by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose after hearing both the parties allowed the petition moved by Karti seeking permission to go abroad. Though the CBI vehemently opposed the petition by Karti, the court allowed him to go abroad and return back to India by February 28. The court directed Karti to keep the CBI informed about his travel plans and also the details of the places he is visiting. The High Court expressed displeasure on the CBI arguments and observed that without charge sheet or any other action, the LoC can’t hold for a long time.

“Karti had made plans for two trips abroad. The court by its order on Friday has cleared the first trip he is undertaking in the month of February. His second trip scheduled for the month of March would be decided later by the court,” said G Rajagopal, Additional Solicitor General. Karti is expected to leave for France soon to attend the business meeting of his company Totus Tennis for managing the European tennis season related commitments. The CBI was also slammed by Supreme Court for inaction on Karti even after issuing LoC. At one point SC Judges also rebuked CBI for raising simply allegations and not acting.

Karti who was interrogated for more than 10 hours on Thursday was let off by ED around 12 midnight, asking him to come with more documents of his companies engaged in the INX Media bribe case.  The CBI and ED had registered a First Information Report (FIR) in the case in May 2017 and also conducted raids against Karti and companies linked to him, Karti kept playing hide and seek game with agencies.

Meanwhile, co-accused Indrani Mukerjea, the promoter of INX Media, has admitted to the CBI and ED that she had paid around Rs. Five crores to Karti for getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearances. The payments were made to Karti’s firms Chess Management Services and Advantage Strategic Consulting through Indrani’s firms in London. Peter Mukerjea is also an accused in this case. According to investigators, all money deals were directly handled by Chidambaram and money was transferred from London.  As per the CBI and ED FIRs, in 2007, INX Media got FIPB clearance for only Rs. five crores of foreign investments. But the TV channel illegally brought more than Rs.305 crores from Mauritius registered companies in a dubious way. Income Tax authorities found the irregularity and issue a notice to Indrani and husband Peter Mukherjea.  Thereafter, the duo approached Karti, then Finance Minister Chidambaram’s son for post factor FIPB clearance.

Chidambaram, as Chairman of FIPB, illegally gave post facto clearance to the INX Media.  The INX media scam was unearthed during the joint raid of ED and Income Tax in December 2015 at Karti’s companies in connection with Aircel-Maxis scam[1]. The investigators seized the hard disks from the Karti’s firms, unearthing details of the family’s properties and hotels and farmhouses in 14 countries and 21 undeclared foreign bank accounts[2].

References:

[1] Raids dig up empire of PC’s sonFeb 29, 2016, Pioneer

[2] Chidambara Rahasya – Details of huge secret assets & foreign bank accounts of Chidambaram familyMar 15, 2017, PGurus.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. There are many other CAs in the Country who help in falsification of Accounts Money laundering and
    giving advice to evade taxes etc. What about them they should also be arrested and taught a lesson so CAs will think twice before acting unethically. Are you in agreement or no.

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