The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought Sanction for Prosecution against four former officers working in Finance Ministry including three Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers in the INX Media case involving charges of bribery against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and son Karti. The officers found in the investigation to be in conspiracy with Chidambaram in illegally approving the FIPB clearance in 2008 were former NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar, former secretary of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Anup K Pujari and current principal secretary in the Himachal Pradesh government, Prabodh Saxena and a retired Under Secretary Rabindra Prasad.
These officers were then working at the Economic Affairs Department and illegally approved the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media where Chidambaram’s son Karti was caught for accepting a bribe of Rs.5 crores from the TV channel promoters and accused Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea. Indrani has already become an approver in the case, blaming Chidambaram for pressurizing her to pay a bribe to save from the Income Tax prosecution.
Sindhushree Khullar was the then additional secretary in the Economic Affairs Department and was earlier Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Chidambaram when he was the Finance Minister in the Deve Gowda Government. Anup Pujari was Joint Secretary and Prabodh Saxena, Director in Finance Ministry and illegally approved the FIPB clearance to INX Media. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) already approved with CBI’s sanction for prosecution and the files are currently in Finance Ministry now.
The CBI is expected to file a charge sheet soon in the fast track court meant for MPs and MLAs as the two accused, P Chidambaram and Karti are Parliamentarians. The CBI has already arrested Karti in February 2017 and attached his Rs.54 crores worth properties in Delhi, Ooty, Cambridge and Spain.
INX Media bribery was unearthed in the joint raid of Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax headed by the Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh in connection with the Aircel-Maxis scam in Karti’s home and firms in December 2014. ED found that in 2007, the INX Media got FIPB approval to receive just Rs. five crores as FDI. But the TV channel owners illegally brought in Rs.305 crores and were caught by the Income Tax Department. From saving from the Income Tax department’s prosecution, Indrani and Peter approached Chidambaram and paid a bribe of Rs.5 crores to Karti. The bribe money was routed through Karti’s firms Advantage Strategic Consulting and Chess Management Services Private Limited. After receiving the bribe, INX Media got illegal post-facto FIPB clearance for the illegally brought Rs.305 crores to be saved from Income Tax prosecution.
Meanwhile, Delhi High Court has already reserved for Orders in January 2019 on the anticipatory bail granted to Chidambaram and CBI’s request to cancel it seeking custodial interrogation of the former Finance Minister. Delhi HC is expected to pass the verdict in July when courts open after summer vacation.
 CVC seeks sanction to prosecute ex-NITI Aayog CEO, former MSME secretary, serving IAS officer in INX Media case – Jun 20, 2019, FIrstpost.com
 ED attaches Rs.54 crores worth assets of Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media bribery case – Oct 11, 2018, PGurus.com
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