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Indrani Mukerjea’s bribe allegation triggered arrest of Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram, arrested in connection with the INX Media case, was on Wednesday sent to one-day CBI custody by a Delhi court after the agency claimed his custodial interrogation was needed to unearth the conspiracy over alleged payment of dollar 1 million bribe to him by the media company through foreign entities.

The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered the arrest of Karti, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was based on the statement of Indrani Mukerjea, former Director of INX Media (P) Ltd, who recorded it under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate on February 17.

In the statement under this section, which is like a confessional statement before a judicial magistrate, Indrani has stated that she and her husband Peter Mukerjea had acceded to Karti’s demand of one million dollars for allegedly fixing the violations done in the FIPB clearance.

According to reports, in a separate statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Indrani Mukerjea has said that she and her husband Peter Mukerjea had met former Union Minister P Chidambaram to seek government approval to foreign investment proposals worth around Rs 300 crore in the company INX Media.

Karti Chidambaram, 46, was arrested from Chennai airport on Wednesday morning soon after he returned from the United Kingdom, was brought to Delhi and produced before a duty magistrate.

Karti is accused of receiving kickbacks in 2007 to clear the foreign investment, using the influence of his father, P Chidambaram, who was then the Union finance minister. At the time, the company was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The couple has been in jail on charges of murdering Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora since 2015.

The CBI sought his custodial interrogation for 15 days claiming that he was not cooperating but got a day’s custody only.

Karti Chidambaram, arrested in connection with the INX Media case, was on Wednesday sent to one-day CBI custody by a Delhi court after the agency claimed his custodial interrogation was needed to unearth the conspiracy over alleged payment of 1 million dollar bribe to him by the media company through foreign entities.

The CBI sought his custodial interrogation for 15 days but duty magistrate Sumeet Anand granted a day’s custody, making it clear that Karti has to be produced before the concerned special judge on Thursday at 2:30 pm.

The concerned special judge had left the court premises after around 4:30 pm. Karti was produced before the duty magistrate at around 4:50 pm.

During the proceedings, CBI prosecutor VK Sharma told the court that “Indrani’s statement under section 164 CrPC was recorded before a magistrate on February 17 in which she told the magistrate that in a meeting at a five-star hotel here, she and Peter met Karti and he demanded USD 1 million.”

Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Karti, said it was a “bizzare” case and no grounds for arrest were made out.

“It is a bizzare case at the threshold. It is not a case of arrest, leave aside police custody or judicial custody,” he told the court while opposing the CBI’s remand.

The CBI had filed a case against Karti Chidambaram in 2017, in which he has been accused of accepting bribes to the tune of 10 lakh.

In the court on Wednesday, Karti Chidambaram’s lawyer, Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said he was being targeted because he was the son of a senior Congress leader.

Regarding the bribe allegation, Singhvi said Karti Chidambaram was not a director or a shareholder of Advantage Strategic company, one of the companies through which the Mukerjeas had allegedly paid the bribe.

NMTV

NMTV was launched in the year 1999, and is Maharashtra only accredited 24-hour, 7-day-a-week local cable news station of Navi Mumbai airing news bulletins and programs in English, Hindi and Marathi. NMTV represents the state-of-the-art in local television news coverage, delivering on a commitment of responsible and community-oriented journalism on an around-the-clock basis.

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