The father-son duo of Chidambaram and Karti have been accused of receiving bribes and abusing positions of power and this led to a CBI raid earlier today. 17 locations in Chennai, Noida, Karaikudi and Delhi were searched by the officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation. The raids are a spill over of the probe conducted by the Enforcement Directorate.
The ED had alleged that a firm linked to Karti Chidambaram received Rs 1.16 crore from companies whose FIPB clearances were done in an allegedly illegal manner by the then Union finance minister P Chidambaram. The ED had in its status report to the Supreme Court had in April said that it had included Chidambaram as an accused in its probe into the Aircel-Maxis case. The cases on hand which the CBI is probing also includes the deal between Aircel-Maxis and investments received by INX News which was formerly owned by media tycoon Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani who are currently in jail for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
The case on hand:
The allegation is that Aircel a Malaysian company was sold to Maxis in a deal which allegedly contravened protocol for foreign direct investments. Chidambaram was accused of clearing the deal as the ex-officio chairman of the FIPB when he did not have the authority to do since, since the amount involved was higher than Rs 600 crore.
It was also alleged that INX Media too had received FIBP clearance. It was found that it had paid consultation charges to Advantage Strategic, a firm linked allegedly to Karti.
Documents that were recovered from the office of Karti Chidambaram and Advantage point out that the latter received consultancy fees from companies that had applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board at a time it came under then finance minister P Chidambaram.
One bank account of Advantage Strategic with Development Credit Bank (A/c 06020100003711) reveals the scale of its operations: Rs 151.31 crore of transactions since 2005-06.
In the December 2015 raids by the Enforcement Directorate it was found that Advantage Strategic received "consultancy fee" of Rs 90 Lakh from INX before it got an FIPB clearance. The original promoter of INX news channel, Peter Mukherjee is a key suspect in Sheena Bora murder case. According to the ED the evidence suggested that the ultimate beneficiary of Advantage Strategic is the Chidambaram family. The ED had also alleged that during the raids on the Chennai office of Advantage Strategic, 60% of the controversial company will be owned by Karti's family. The remaining will be owned by Ausbridge Holdings, once 95% owned by Karti, which was later transferred at a discount to Mohanan Rajesh, alleged to be his close associate.
The ED's report to the CBI says that the, the contents in the will establish that Karti Chidambaram's family is the real owner of these shares and the assets held by the company