New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case.
ED officials grilled the former Union Minister on several issues, including Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007, soon after he arrived at the agency’s office around 11 a.m. The agency had issued summons to Chidambaram in November asking him to appear before it for the ED to record his statement.
The Delhi High Court had given Chidambaram interim protection from arrest in the case till October 25. The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were also probing how the UPA minister’s son Karti Chidambaram managed to get the FIPB clearance.
The junior Chidambaram was arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media when his father was part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. He was later granted bail.
The son’s Chartered Accountant S. Bhaskararaman was also arrested later granted bail. The ED probe so far showed that for the FIPB approval, INX Media’s Peter and Indrani Mukerjea met P. Chidambaram, so that there was no hold-up or delay in their application.
“P. Chidambaram asked for his son’s business interests to be kept in mind. The ED identified payments of Rs 3.09 crore by Peter Mukerjea to ASCPL and associated entities controlled by Karti P. Chidambaram through manipulated debit notes.
“During the investigation, it was admitted that debit notes were raised on the directions of Karti to show some transactions which in fact did not occur,” the agency has alleged.
The ED has said that the money so received by associated entities was channelled back into the ASCPL. The ED has attached properties worth Rs 54 crore belonging to Karti Chidambaram and a firm in connection with the case. The ED has also attached properties belonging to the Mukerjeas in connection with the same case.