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CBI to question P Chidambaram on INX Media case

CBI is all set question P Chidambaram on INX Media case for his role in facilitating FIPB permissions so that the media house could bring in 309 Crore of investments in India. P Chidambaram has been denying any wrongdoing, saying all investment approvals granted during his tenure were above board.

In what seemed to be a case doomed to fail, the CBI charges are based on facilitating a decision where criminal conspiracy is hard, if to impossible, to prove. The thin grounds of the charges can be gauged from the fact Karti Chidambaram was arrested for non cooperating in the investigation and not as a result of that very investigation. Given the agency’s track record in prosecuting corruption cases, Karti’s case may seem particularly weak as it rests on a facilitation payment, rather common in business dealings.

Earlier CBI asked for the custody of Karti, stating that there is a prima facie material showing Karti’s involvement in the scam, and that his custody is required for further investigation. There were very shocking evidences that when he went abroad he closed bank accounts in which funds were received, the CBI said.  Karti allegedly received kickbacks for using his influence in the Finance Ministry to help INX Media get approval for foreign investments for the media company. His father was the Finance Minister then. Karti’s name first figured in a statement by INX directors Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani.

The arrest comes right before Parliament’s session from Monday, and would definitely help government to handle opposition charges on its handling of banking frauds. The case against Karti was registered in May 2017. CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are investigating him for criminal conspiracy, cheating, seeking to influence a public servant, criminal misconduct and money laundering.

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