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The Indrani Mukerjea statement that got the Chidambarams in trouble

Ending the chase of more than 24 hours, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have finally arrested Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday night, but not before some high voltage drama.
P Chidambaram was arrested on the charges of money laundering in the INX Media case.
It was the statement by Indrani Mukherjee in which his name cropped up. Congress questioned the credibility of the statement given by “a woman who is behind bars for killing her own daughter”.

Also Read: CBI case is not the gospel of truth, cannot be treated as evidence: Kapil Sibal for P Chidambaram

But it is indeed the statement of Indrani Mukerjea that landed P Chidambaram in trouble and led to his arrest. Indrani is currently lodged in Byculla jail of Mumbai, in her daughter Sheena Bora’s murder case. Her husband Peter Mukerjea, the company’s founder, is also in jail in the same case.
In July this year, Indrani tuned approver in the INX Media corruption case. It is her confession in which she named Chidambaram and his son Karti, saying that they had taken bribes from the company for the fund clearance. She had recorded in her statement on February 17, 2018, which is a now part of court documents, that Karti had asked them for a bribe of $1 million when they met at Hyatt hotel in Delhi.

In 2007, INX Media had approached Chairman of FIPB, seeking his permission for issuing equity shares to three non-resident investors who were based in Mauritius through the FDI route.  Each share was to be priced at Rs 10 a piece.  This money was supposed to be used for creating and operating a number of television channels. However, the application also mentioned the company’s intention to make a downstream financial investment to the extent of 26 per cent of the issued and outstanding equity share capital. However, the FIPB cleared the FDI proposal for a sale of Rs 4.62 crore only. But categorically denied permission to the downstream investment. However, in violation of FIPB approval, the downstream investment generated FDI exceeding Rs 305 crore in the company “by issuing shares to foreign investors at a premium of more than Rs 800 per share.”

When the Income Tax got a whiff of this in 2008, the next year, the company hired Chess Management Service Pvt. Ltd, which is founded and directed by Karti Chidambaram.
According to CBI, The Mukherjeas paid kickbacks to Karti Chidambaram and used his family name to escape the law. Now, this was the time when the Finance Ministry was the most powerful ministry in Manmohan Singh’s government.
And FIPB, instead of ordering probe asked the company to file for FIPB approval again.
In March 2018, Indrani Mukerjea told the CBI in a statement that a deal of $1 million was struck between Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas to secure approval from the FIPB in favour of INX Media.
Now, Indrani Mukherjee has turned approver in the case and had prayed for pardon in the case in exchange of full and true disclosure. but it has already put Mr Chidambaram in deep trouble.

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