Karti Chidambaram, Indrani Mukerjea Face Off In Mumbai Jail, CBI Records

Indrani Mukerjea had told investigators that she and Peter Mukerjea had met former finance minister P Chidambaram to seek government approval to foreign investment proposals worth around Rs. 300 crore in their company, INX Media.

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Karti Chidambaram leaves Byculla Jail after meeting with Indrani and Peter Mukherjea.


Mumbai/Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Karti Chidambaram was arrested last week on charges of corruption
  2. Indrani and Peter Mukerjea told investigators they had met P Chidambaram
  3. CBI has been given Karti Chidambaram's custody till March 6
Karti Chidambaram, arrested last week on charges of corruption, has been brought to Mumbai's Byculla jail this afternoon by the CBI where he has been brought face-to-face with Indrani Mukerjea, a video camera recording the confrontation. Indrani Mukerjea's reported testimony before a magistrate that senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's 46-year-old son had allegedly asked for a bribe to use his father's influence to regularise investments made by a television company, INX media group, that Indrani and husband Peter Mukerjea had founded.

Indrani and Peter Mukerjea have been in jail since 2015 on charges of murdering Ms Mukerjea's daughter Sheena Bora. The CBI had taken over investigations into this case too.

Karti Chidambaram has contested Indrani and Peter Mukerjea's statements levelling allegations of bribery against him, underlining that the allegations were being made by the murder accused 10 years after the alleged bribery incident.

The CBI, or the Central Bureau of Investigation, had flown Mr Chidambaram to Mumbai earlier in the day and headed straight for Byculla prison where Indrani Mukerjea has been since 2015. CBI sources said he would be later taken to Arthur Road jail where Peter Mukerjea is lodged.
 
indrani mukerjea 650

Indrani and Peter Mukerjea have been in jail since 2015 on charges of murdering Ms Mukerjea's daughter Sheena Bora.

Sources told NDTV that Ms Mukerjea was called into a separate room in the Byculla women's jail premises to meet Karti Chidambaram. Six officers from the CBI too are present in the room, leading the interrogation.

While no jail officials were allowed inside, two women constables and a male police officer have been deployed outside the room to monitor Indrani Mukerjea.

In her statement to the CBI before a magistrate, Indrani Mukerjea had also brought up the name of the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

She and Peter Mukerjea told the Enforcement Directorate that they had met P Chidambaram in his North Block office when he was the finance minister, to seek government approval to foreign investment proposals. The couple alleged he had asked them to help his son's business and to "make foreign remittances" for this purpose.

INX Media, according to the CBI, which had generated more than Rs. 305 crore by issuing shares at a premium of more than Rs. 800 apiece, had also invested 26 per cent in INX News without permission.

When the foreign investment board, at the instance of the income tax authorities asked INX to explain the violation, they television company allegedly approached Karti Chidambaram for help to settle the matter.

According to the CBI, Indrani Mukerjea had told them INX Media paid about 7,00,000 dollars to firms linked to Karti Chidambaram in 2008 around the time the government accepted the request from INX Media group for approvals to make investments in INX News against the advice of the income tax department.

P Chidambaram and his 46-year-old son have denied the allegations, calling it a case of "political vendetta" and cite an inquiry by the Serious Frauds Office ordered by P Chidambaram against the INX group.

The CBI has been given Karti Chidambaram's custody till Tuesday though the agency had asked for two-weeks' custody, arguing that he was not cooperating with the investigation. 

The special court in Delhi did not clear the businessman's request for home-cooked food but allowed medicines and a health check-up.

Karti Chidambaram was arrested on Wednesday morning from the Chennai airport and brought to Delhi.

He was arrested soon after he returned from the UK, where he had gone on a business trip with permission from the Madras High Court.


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