New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday (March 24) issued summons to former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the INX Media money-laundering case.
Special Judge M K Nagpal has summoned the duo on April 7, taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against them.
The court said there was sufficient material to proceed against the Chidambarams, Karti’s chartered accountant S S Bhaslararaman, former CEO of INX Pratim Mukerjea and six firms including INX Media and INX News.
“I find sufficient material and grounds for proceeding further in the matter against all the 10 accused persons named in the complaint, out of which six accused are companies, for commission of offence under section 3 read with section 70 of the PMLA, which is punishable under section 4 of the Act,” the judge said in his order according to PTI.
The charge sheet alleged that the first installment of illegal gratification of Rs 3,08,62,044, in furtherance of criminal conspiracy, was paid by INX Media to M/s Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) and two other shell companies.
It said these firms, Kriya FMCG Distributors Pvt Ltd (Kriya) and CBN Placement and Management Centre (CBNPMC), were beneficially owned or controlled by Karti, and the amount was paid during 2007-08 through SpanFibre and Satyam Fibre (India) Pvt Ltd (Satyam Fibre).
“These fake invoices/ debit notes are also alleged to have been created as a part of the scheme to camouflage/ layer the illegal gratification as genuine business transactions,” the court noted.
Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media corruption case on August 21, 2019.
On October 16, 2019, the ED arrested him in a related money-laundering case.
Six days later, on October 22, the apex court granted bail to Chidambaram in the case lodged by the CBI.
In the ED case, he got bail on December 4, 2019.
The CBI had registered its case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, during Chidambaram’s tenure as finance minister.
Subsequently, the ED had lodged the money-laundering case.