Look Out Circular to be extended
Former Finance Minister’s son Karti Chidambaram on Monday was again interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for eight hours in connection with kickbacks from INX media for dubious Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals. CBI asked Karti to appear again if any response was needed on the answers he gave. As CBI has not given him any fixed date, the Look Out Circular to prevent Karti’s abroad trips issued will be extended.
CBI charged Karti for accepting around Rs. Five crores bribe, for providing illegal FIPB clearance to INX media in 2007 owned by Peter Mukherjea and Indrani.
Bhaskararaman, Ravi Viswanathan and Mohanan Rajesh, the Directors of Karti’s companies Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd were also questioned by the CBI on Monday. According to sources, CBI is expected to verify the answers given by Karti by responding to over 100 questions asked by CBI in the previous interrogation of August 23. Karti was forced to appear before CBI after Supreme Court’s stern warning, quashing the order of Madras High Court which temporarily suspended the Look Out Circular issued by CBI. The next hearing of the case in Supreme Court is scheduled on September 1.
Sources said that answers given by Karti and other Directors were not at all convincing and their answers for accepting around Rs. Five crores from INX Media was not found to be correct. The investigators confronted Karti with the bank transactions and money trail to his companies from INX Media. It is expected that agency may summon Chidambaram and officials who worked in the FIPB during 2007 after verifying the answers given by Karti. Enforcement Directorate is also expected to summon Karti soon.
CBI charged Karti for accepting around Rs. Five crores bribe, for providing illegal FIPB clearance to INX media in 2007 owned by Peter Mukherjea and Indrani. The media company initially got approval to receive only Rs. Five crores as foreign investment. But Income Tax found that the INX media illegally got Rs.300 crores as foreign investment and issued a notice. After getting a show cause notice from Income Tax, Peter Mukherjea and Indrani sought Karti’s help. After Karti’s intervention, FIPB under the then Finance Minister Chidambaram in 2007 illegally gave post-facto clearance to INX media to save from Income Tax penalty and actions, said the CBI in the FIR.