In a big setback to tainted former Finance & Home Minister P Chidambaram and son Karti, in the INX Media bribery case, co-accused Indrani Mukerjea on Thursday filed a petition in the trial court seeking pardon and her intention to turn an approver. Indrani has already given her statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and also testified before the Magistrate that she had given around Rs. 5 crores to Karti’s firms on the direction of Chidambaram to get a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.
Hearing Indrani through video conferencing, Judge Sunil Rana posted the case for February 14. Indrani is currently lodged in Byculla Jail in Mumbai as she is facing trial for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora. Indrani and her second husband Peter Mukherjea are currently in jail for the murder case and are also co-accused with Chidambaram for paying bribes to get a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) clearance to their TV channel INX Media in 2007.
Responding positively as the court asked her whether application seeking a grant of pardon has been moved voluntarily, she also said that she has not engaged counsel to represent her and requested a legal aid counsel be provided to her. The court directed Delhi Legal Service Authority to appoint counsel for Mukerjea.
It is learned that Indrani has confessed to CBI and ED that she had met Chidambaram many times and Chidambaram also asked her to help Karti’s firms. In her statement, she also said that even after giving around a million dollars (more than Rs. 5 crores) to Karti’s firms, she obliged to Chidambaram’s other demands also. To questions of investigators as to why she obliged to Chidambaram’s demands Indrani replied that as she was facing Income Tax prosecution for illegally bringing more than Rs.300 crores, she had no other choice accepting such demands. It is learned that CBI and ED had videographed Indrani’s sensational confession about Chidambaram. She said that as Income Tax prosecution was hanging like a “Damocles’ sword” on her, she had no choice but to oblige to Chidambaram’s demands.
What is INX Media bribery case?
INX Media bribery case is an offshoot of the Aircel-Maxis scam probe. The INX Media bribe was caught by ED’s Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh, during their joint raid with Income Tax at Chidambaram’s home and Karti’s firms in December 2015 in connection with the Aircel-Maxis probe. The raid had exposed Chidambaram family’s illegal assets in 14 countries and 21 undeclared foreign bank accounts. ED wrote to CBI in early 2016 that during their investigation, they found four FIPB violations committed by Chidambaram including INX-Maxis bribe case, urging for registration of First Information Reports (FIR)s on each case.
As per the CBI’s FIR, in 2007, INX Media got an FIPB clearance to accept only Rs.5 crores as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Income Tax then found that INX illegally accepted Rs.305 crores and issued a notice to Peter and Indrani, promoters of the TV channel. After getting the notice from Income Tax, the promoters approached Chidambaram and Karti and paid bribes amounting to around Rs.5 crores. The kickback was routed to Karti’s firms Advantage Strategic Consulting and Chess Management Services. After Karti confirmed receipt, the FIPB headed by Chidambaram issued an “illegal” post facto clearance to INX Media to accept Rs.305 crores. This was a blatant violation to save the firm from the Income Tax’s prosecution, said CBI. Karti was arrested by the CBI in a surprise move in February 2018, when he landed from London. After son’s arrest sensing danger Chidambaram obtained interim protection from Delhi HC in March 2018.
All accounts to be settled at the end of the day!
This money was transferred from Karti’s (now closed) Bank account of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Chennai Branch sometime during the time period January 16, 2006 to September 23, 2009, into Chidambaram’s bank account. It must be remembered that during this time Mr. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister and this was the time period when the Aircel-Maxis and INX media bribery cases happened. This shows that Chidambaram is well aware of his son’s activities and he also got his pound of flesh from the money collected by his son, further misusing the office of the Finance Minister.
This transfer of Rs.1.8 crores from the broker-son to the FM-father shows that they were in regular touch and were settling accounts on a case-by-case basis. People familiar with the customs that prevail in Tamil Nadu say that Chettiar businessman will settle accounts on the spot even if they are father and son!
Meanwhile, Delhi High Court (HC) Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur had already reserved for orders for the application filed by Chidambaram seeking protection from arrest by CBI and ED. The agencies told HC that they need Chidambaram for custodial interrogation.
 Chidambara Rahasya – Details of huge secret assets of Chidambaram and family – Mar 15, 2017, PGurus.com
 Karti transferred 1.8 crores to Chidambaram’s account. But media stays mum – Mar 6, 2018, PGurus.com,
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