INX money laundering case
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The case, in brief
The CBI arrested Karti Chidambaram at Chennai airport in connection to the INX Media money laundering case
INX allegedly violated the conditions of approval of an FDI and entered into a criminal conspiracy with minister Chidambaram’s son Karti to avoid legal action
The Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) arrested Karti Chidambaram at Chennai airport in connection to the INX Media money laundering case. Karti, a son of former finance minister P Chidambaram was taken into custody upon his return from a trip to London. "We have strong evidence to confirm his role in a cheating case," said a senior CBI official. Here is an explainer and timeline on the case:
WHEN INVESTIGATIONS BEGAN
In 2008, as much as Rs 305 crore of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was made in INX Media Pvt Ltd (now called 9X Media Pvt Ltd) by three Mauritius-based companies. The amount of FDI was a red flag to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which registered a case against INX Media for alleged irregularities in the transaction and violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The ED alleged that approval for the FDI was granted in 2007, when P Chidambaram was finance minister in the UPA 1 regime. INX allegedly violated the conditions of approval and to avoid legal action, entered into a criminal conspiracy with minister Chidambaram’s son Karti, the ED said. Based on information provided by the ED, the CBI filed an FIR against Karti in May 2017.
WHAT THE FIR SAYS
The FIR registered by the CBI suggests that the now disbanded Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) granted permission to INX Media on May 30, 2007, to bring in FDI of Rs 4.62 crore. However, INX Media flouted the conditional approval of the board and brought in over Rs 305 crore. CBI further alleged that Karti exercised influence over certain FIPB officials – owing to proximity to his father’s high office - and the department, and they extended undue favours to the media firm.
HOW THE CASE PROGRESSED
Since filing the FIR, as many as 14 locations across the country were raided by the CBI. On February 16, Karti's chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman was arrested from a five-star hotel in Delhi by the ED which is also investigating a money laundering case against Karti. Last week, Karti moved the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on summons issued by the ED. The apex court denied the stay order. The ED had earlier summoned Karti on February 2, 2018, after which he informed them he would be unable to depose as he had an interlocutory application pending in the Supreme Court in this case.