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INX Media case: a timeline of events

Congress leader P. Chidambaram.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Waydande

On August 23, the Supreme Court protected Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till August 26, the next date of hearing in the INX Media corruption and money laundering case.

However, he remains in the Central Bureau of Investigation's custody till August 26.

Mr. Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI late on August 21 and taken to CBI headquarters for questioning in the INX Media case.

 

As the INX Media corruption and money laundering case unfolds, here is a timeline of events:

INX Media was founded by media executives Indrani and Peter Mukerjea in 2007, when Congress leader P. Chidambaram served as the Union Finance Minister under the UPA I. The duo allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P. Chidambaram to evade punitive measures and get foreign investment for their company.

The company had sought permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to issue equity shares to three non-resident investors based in Mauritius. The application also mentioned that it would "make a downstream financial investment to the extent of 26 per cent of the issued and outstanding equity share capital of INX News Private Limited". While the FIPB approved FDI inflow of ₹4.62 crores, it turned down the company’s proposal for downstream investment.

2017

On May 15 the CBI filed an FIR alleging irregularities in the clearance granted by the FIPB to INX Media. The agency alleged that the company received FDI to the tune of ₹305 crore in 2007, against the approved ₹4.62 crore.

Later, the same month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against Karti under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

June 16, 2017: the Foreigner Regional Registration Office and Bureau of Immigration register a look-out circular (LoC) against Karti Chidambaram.

August 10: August 18: after the Madras High Court stays the LoCs, the Supreme Court stepped in and stayed HC’s order, asking Karti to appear before the CBI on August 23.

September 22: CBI tells SC that it has furnished details about several offshore properties of Karti Chidambaram. It also informs the SC that Karti was prevented from traveling abroad as he was allegedly destroying evidence.

November 20: after Karti’s application seeking permission to travel abroad for his daughter’s admission, the SC allowed him to travel to UK. The CBI, represented by senior advocate Tushar Mehta and advocate Rajat Nair, in a note handed over to the court, expressed “serious apprehension of the respondent [Karti] not returning if allowed to leave India and also tamper with the evidence”.

December 8: Karti moves the SC against summons made by the CBI in the Aircel Maxis case.

2018

February 16: ED arrests Karti’s chartered accountant and a co-accused S. Bhaskaraman in New Delhi. He was later granted bail by a special court, which said there were no specific allegations against him except aiding Karti Chidambaram in the money laundering case.

February 28: CBI arrests Karti at Chennai airport upon his return to India.

March 5: Karti moves SC challenging the summons made by the ED in the money laundering case.

March 6 to March 23: after a special court sends Karti to 3-day CBI custody and then 12-day judicial custody, he moves the Delhi HC seeking bail in the graft case. On March 23, the Delhi HC grants him bail. He is also granted interim protection from arrest by ED by the Supreme Court on March 15.

July 25: Delhi HC grants Congress leader P. Chidambaram interim protection from arrest in both the cases till August 1. While the interim protection has been extended from time to time by the court, the court also directed Mr. Chidambaram to cooperate with the agencies in conducting the probe.

October 11: ED attaches Karti Chidambaram's assets worth ₹54 crore in India, UK and Spain.

2019

July 11: Meanwhile, Indrani Mukerjea, who is jailed in the Sheena Bora murder case, turns approver in the INX media corruption case after she moved an application seeking pardon and promising to help in the probe.

August 1: ED asks Karti to vacate his bungalow in New Delhi’s Jor Bagh area, which was also one of the assets attached by the ED.

August 20: Delhi HC rejects Mr. Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea.

August 21: CBI arrests Mr. Chidambaram and he is taken to CBI headquarters for questioning late in the evening. As the Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal scrambled to get a hearing in the Supreme Court via oral mention, the case failed to get listed as CJI Ranjan Gogoi left at 4 p.m. after hearing the Ayodhya appeals. The case is now listed for hearing for August 23.

August 22:  Mr. Chidambaram sent to CBI custody till August 26 after he is produced before the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi. While the CBI sought five-day custody of Mr. Chidambaram, the defence counsel opposed it.

August 23:  The Supreme Court provides interim protection from arrest by ED to P. Chidambaram till August 26, the next date of hearing.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 10:20:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/inx-media-case-a-timeline-of-events/article29212970.ece

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