After former finance minister P. Chidambaram termed the charge against his son Karti meeting with any Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) officer as baseless, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said it is a “clear cut case of a father protecting his son”. “It is a clear cut case of a father protecting his son and seeing no wrong. But I would only suggest, let the CBI do its job, they are investigating agency that work independently and if you believe in due process of law, then adhere to it,” BJP leader Shaina NC told ANI in Mumbai.
Echoing similar sentiments, another BJP leader S. Prakash told ANI in Bengaluru that as a responsible politician, it is his duty to come clean on the allegation faced by his son. “Let the truth prevail. Why is he saying it is politically motivated, why is he acting as a victim. As a responsible politician, who was holding a very important portfolio in the earlier government; it is his duty to come clean on the allegation faced by his son,” he added.
Speaking strongly over the controversy surrounding his son Karti in connection with a money laundering case, Chidambaram yesterday said that his son had never met any officer connected with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), adding that the course of law will expose the mischief makers. Chidambaram said he has asked his son to fully co-operate with the investigation and he would do so.
“I can say with absolute certainty that Karti Chidambaram had never met any officer connected with the FIPB. Besides, he had no connection with the applicant company (INX Media/INX News),” Chidambaram said in a statement. Speaking in connection with the allegation of granting of FIPB approval to INX media, the former finance minister said it is a collective decision of six secretaries, adding that such an allegation was a despicable slur on the six secretaries of the government who constituted the FIPB at the relevant time.
“Anyone familiar with the working of the FIPB knows that no single officer can take a decision on any proposal. It is a collective decision of six Secretaries. Anyone who has worked with me knows that no one would dare to influence my decisions. I had never allowed any family member to speak to me or to any officer of my ministry on any official matter. It is therefore preposterous to suggest that a member of my family, with or without my knowledge, influenced, by corrupt or illegal means, the six Secretaries who constituted the FIPB,” he said.
Terming it as the ‘most ridiculous allegation’, Chidambaram said, “that the so-called gratification was a cheque for Rs 10 lakhs — I repeat, a cheque for Rs 10 lakhs.” Earlier on May 19, Enforcement Directorate (ED) slapped a money laundering case against Karti and others, taking cognizance of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR against him. Following the raid, Karti asserted that all charges against him are completely bogus and he will stand vindicated one day.
“Whatever I heard is only from the media. Nothing of substance. All charges on me are completely bogus and I will stand vindicated one day,” Karti told the media. However, CBI Joint Director Vineet Vinayak said the investigation is still underway and some important pieces of evidence such as hard disks, mails and documents have been recovered.
FIR was lodged against Karti, Indrani Mukerjea, unknown officers of FIPB Unit of Ministry of Finance and others over alleged financial misappropriation over FIPB clearance to Peter and Indrani’s media company INX Media in 2008. The charges include criminal conspiracy, cheating, taking gratification in order by corrupt or illegal means to influence a public servant and criminal misconduct.