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Indrani spills Karti beans

Author: J Gopikrishnan
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 6, 2018
URL:   http://www.dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/indrani-spills-karti-beans.html

Prime accused in the sensational murder of her daughter Sheena Bora and INX media promoter Indrani Mukerjea is now facing the heat in a corruption case involving former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.

The glamour woman of yesteryears, who has been behind bars for nearly three years, has been taken into custody by the CBI in the politically sensitive corruption case.

As per probe carried out by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, Indrani paid a bribe of Rs 5 crore to companies

Owned by Karti for “dubious and illegal” post facto FIPB clearances given by then Finance Minister Chidambaram to the INX media.

The CBI brought Indrani from Mumbai on a transit remand and produced her in a Special CBI Court, which sent her to two-day CBI custody. The CBI had asked the court for a three-day remand for custodial interrogation. She will now be produced before the court on February 7.

The ED questioned Indrani in Mumbai in December last year. Sources said Indrani admitted before the ED officials that that she had made deal with Karti for post facto FIPB clearance for foreign investment worth Rs 305 crore and arranged bribe payments to Karti’s firms — Chess Management Services and Advantage Strategic Consulting.

According to CBI investigators, Karti will be confronted with Indrani to throw light on the details of the deal. The CBI may also summon P Chidamabaram to probe charges that he facilitated the FIPB clearance to INX media at Karti’s behest and turned a blind eye to the irregularity committed by the INX media.

As per the CBI FIR, in August 2006, INX Media, jointly owned by Indrani and Peter, got FIPB clearance to bring in just Rs 5 crore as foreign investment. But in 2007, the Income Tax’s Investigation Wing found that the media company had illegally brought more than Rs 305 crore from tax havens.

The FIR said after the Income Tax notice, Indrani and Peter approached Chidambaram’s son Karti and paid Rs 5 core as bribe and managed a post facto illegal FIPB clearance. “Such deceitful and fallacious proposal was favourably considered by the officials of Ministry of Finance and approved by the then Finance Minister,” said CBI in the FIR.

On Monday in the Court, the CBI counsels submitted that Indrani has to be questioned and confronted with other accused in the case. It said that during an earlier interrogation in the matter, it was revealed that further investigation requires her custodial interrogation. There is voluminous record in the case and permission to interrogate had been granted earlier also, the CBI said.

 However, the Mumbai Police told the court that Indrani has to be produced before a Mumbai court on February 13 and cannot be kept in Delhi beyond that.

  Meanwhile, Karti has failed to appear before the ED on February 2. Earlier he was questioned for 11 hours and was asked to appear on February 2.
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