March 23, 2018

INX Media case: Karti Chidmabaram sent to judicial custody for 12 days

12 March 2018, 09:16 | Winifred Adams

DH file

DH file

A court on Monday sent senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram to judicial custody till March 24 in the INX Media corruption case. The FIR alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds of about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

He has been in CBI custody since his arrest on February 28 from the Chennai airport upon his arrival from the UK.

Karti's father P Chidambaram was also present in the courtroom during the hearing today.

Stressed on Karti Chidambaram's visits, he said that if the accused did not face any threat then, how did he now fear it in the jail, where there is deployment of large number of security personnel.

The investigation agency did not press for any further police custody but moved an application for a fifteen day judicial custody while Karti moved an application seeking separate prison cell during judicial custody.

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The apprehension raised by the senior counsel for accused can not be ignored keeping in view the social status of accused and his family, more specifically, his father, who is a former union minister.

"His father P Chidambaram has dealt with stringent penal laws including TADA and MCOCA, posing a huge security threat to Karti". Organisation investigating me should be concerned about my security.

Countering the CBI plea for sending him to 15 days' judicial custody, Karti's lawyer Dayan Krishnan moved three applications to consider bail application, special cell with attached bathroom and allowing books, own clothes, medicines, home food and spectacles.

The high court will hear his petition on March 13. Denying the contention, Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan submitted that the high court in its order has not stated anything about his arrest while permitting him to travel overseas. The CBI FIR, lodged on May 15 a year ago, had alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media.

The CBI had initially alleged that Karti Chidambaram received Rs 10 lakh as a bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. Karti is alleged to have been paid over Rs 3 crore by the two former co-owners of the media house, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are now in jail on charges of murdering Sheena Bora, the daughter of Indrani. It, however, later revised the figure to $1 million (about Rs 6.50 crore at the current exchange rate and Rs 4.50 crore in 2007).

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