CBI questions Chidambaram based on Indrani’s confession

New Delhi / Chennai: CBI officials continued to question former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram for the third consecutive day today.

According to sources, the questions posed to Chidambaram were mainly based on a statement by Indrani Mukerjea, who told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that she and her husband Peter Mukerjea met Chidambaram at his office in Delhi’s North Block.

Chidambaram asked Peter Mukerjea to help his son Karti by sending overseas remittances in exchange for FIPB approval to INX Media, Indrani Mukerjea told investigators probing allegations of money laundering and corruption. Chidambaram and his son have denied the allegations.

“Peter started the conversation with P Chidambaram referring to the application of INX Media for bringing in FDI and handed copy of the application to Chidambaram. After having understood the issue, Chidambaram told Peter to help his son Karti in his business and make possible overseas remittances in lieu of FIPB approval,” Indrani said in her statement, which was accessed by the PTI.

The estranged couple were promoters of the INX Media group and are facing charges of allegedly killing their daughter Sheena Bora.

In 2008, Indrani said, they decided to approach Chidambaram after learning about the alleged irregularities in the FIPB approval request. “Peter said that the alleged violations can be regularised with Karti P Chidambaram’s help and advice to resolve these issues related to FIPB,” she said.

She added that the couple then met Karti in a hotel in Delhi. “Karti knew about the issue and asked if 1 million US dollars could be transferred into an overseas account either owned by him or his associates in order to sort out the matter. When Peter said that the overseas transfer will not be possible, Karti suggested the names of 2 companies, Chess Management and Advantage Strategic as alternatives to make the desired payments into their accounts and that they will present themselves as consultants to INX Media Pvt Ltd,” she said.

Chidambaram’s ordeal has been prolonged as a special court on Thursday sent him to a five-day CBI custody in connection with INX Media money laundering case. He will remain in the CBI custody till 26 August.
Chidambaram’s legal team is now planning to fight another legal battle today to get protection against arrest in ED cases.

NT Bureau