INX media case: P Chidambaram among 14 charge-sheeted by CBI

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Published: October 19, 2019 1:44:10 AM

The CBI chargesheet filed before Special Judge Lal Singh names Peter Mukherjea, chartered accountant S Bhaskaraman, ex-NITI Ayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar and former secretary in the MSME Ministry Anup K Pujari. Accused-turned approver Indrani Mukerjea’s name also appears in the final report.

INX media, INX media case, P Chidambaram, charge sheet, CBI, India news, Delhi High Court, money launderingChidambaram, who was also the Union Home Minister during the UPA regime, was arrested by the CBI on August 21. (PTI photo)

Filing a chargesheet in the INX Media corruption before a Delhi court, the CBI Friday accused former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and others, including bureaucrats, of causing loss to the exchequer by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Hours later, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on Chidambaram’s plea against a Delhi High Court order denying him bail in the INX Media corruption case. During the hearing, a bench headed by Justice R Banumathi was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI and opposing Chidambaram’s bail plea, that the country needs to go for ‘zero tolerance policy’ on corruption.

The CBI chargesheet filed before Special Judge Lal Singh names Peter Mukherjea, chartered accountant S Bhaskaraman, ex-NITI Ayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar and former secretary in the MSME Ministry Anup K Pujari. Accused-turned approver Indrani Mukerjea’s name also appears in the final report.

The report was filed under various sections of the PCA and the Indian Penal Code. The matter will be taken up for consideration by Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on October 21. The court on Thursday had sent Chidambaram to custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) until October 24 in the INX Media money laundering case “to facilitate proper investigation in the case to reach a logical end”. Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar had allowed the Enforcement Directorate to quiz Chidambaram for seven days.

While seeking his 14-day custody, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, had told the court that from September 6, the agency examined 12 witnesses and the last one was examined on October 9, adding that the ED also collected some more material during that period. He said the accused himself had moved plea seeking to surrender in the case on September 5, which was then opposed by the probe agency on the ground that ED was investigating certain aspects of the money laundering which were first required to be probed for effective and meaningful custodial interrogation.

The court had also extended the judicial custody of Chidambaram until October 24 in the INX Media corruption case lodged by the CBI. Chidambaram, who was also the Union Home Minister during the UPA regime, was arrested by the CBI on August 21. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister.

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