Rajat Sharma

Chidambaram and Congress must face facts

aka_frame_6874On Wednesday, soon after former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti landed in Chennai, he was arrested by CBI and brought to Delhi, where a local court sent him to a day’s remand with the interrogators.

The arrest was based on confessional statements made by INX Media promoters Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, presently in jail in Sheena Bora murder case. The couple had confessed to CBI that they paid USD 7 lakhs to Karti’s companies on instructions from his father, who was then the Finance Minister.

Indrani Mukerjea in her statement recorded before a magistrate under Sec 164 CrPC had confessed that she and Peter had met the then Finance Minister in his office in North Block to get clearance from FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) for foreign investments made in their company after Income Tax department detected irregularities in 2007. Indrani Mukerjea had confessed that P. Chidambaram had then asked the Mukerjeas “to help the business of his son and make foreign remittances for the purpose”.

The Mukerjeas confessed that they had later met Karti Chidambaram in a five-star hotel, where Karti had demanded $1 million. Indrani confessed to both CBI and ED that their firm paid $7 lakh to overseas companies linked to Karti Chidambaram. In my show Aaj Ki Baat on Wednesday night, I had given details of the invoices issued by Karti’s companies to INX Media exposing a clear quid pro quo.

The facts speak for themselves and it is for the courts to take a call. The Congress has alleged that the CBI arrested Karti Chidambaram in order to divert public attention to the major bank frauds committed by jeweller Nirav Modi, who has fled India. The fact is that the INX Media case was not filed by the government, but by Dr Subramanian Swamy, and the probe is being monitored by the Supreme Court. The documents clearly show money was paid to Karti Chidambaram’s companies, and the payments were made at a time when FIPB clearances were pending and his father was the Finance Minister. So, the charge that the CBI arrested Karti in order to divert attention from Nirav Modi bank frauds does not hold water.

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