The CBI on Tuesday extended its deadline to detain the prime accused in the INX media case, Karti Chidambaram for three more days based on charges of receiving bribes from INX media. The CBI had asked the court to keep Karti Chidambaram in custody for none more days for interrogation in wake of “concrete credible evidence collected recently” against him in a corruption case. The CBI has fixed March 9th as the next hearing for his bail plea.
Earlier in the day the Supreme Court refused to stay the arrest of Karti Chidambaram to grant him interim protection. However the Supreme Court accepted Karti and his father P Chidambaram’s petition filed against the ongoing probe led by CBI and ED, violating their right to privacy.
To give the case a new angle supported with evidence, the CBI on Sunday engaged a one on one meeting between Karti and convicted media baron Indrani Mukherjee who stood by her claim of paying bribes to him for FIPB clearance for her company INX media.
The CBI also told the court that besides the testimony given by Indrani Mukherjee the case is also based on other evidence gathered against him.
Reiterating her stance in the case Indrani “repeated everything she had said in her statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate and during her examination by investigators.”
In the INX media case registered by CBI on 15th May it contended that Karti is the main accused along with some “unknown officials” from the finance ministry.
While Karti Chidambaram argued that he was unlawfully arrested and interrogated continuously by sundry probe agencies undercover of investigating the illegal approval of INX media proposal by his father P Chidambaram.
Before CBI court pronounced the ruling it sought the advice if Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who accused Karti Chidambaram of “non-cooperation”.
“After seizing of mobile, if the accused says, ‘I will not give my password, you go to hell’, this is also called non-cooperation,” Mehta had said.
Meanwhile earlier today P Chidambaram was accompanied by his wife Nalini Chidambaram in the court today as a part of the CBI proceedings. CBI sources say that based on the bribery allegations levelled by Indrani Mukherjee before the magistrate the CBI wanted to question the former finance minister.
Ms Mukherjee alleged that they had approached the former finance minister who in turn asked them to meet his son Karti. On discussion with the Mukherjeas on the INX proposal Karti allegedly charged a facilitation fees of 1 million dollars.
Karti’s lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi also opposed the repeated interrogation by the investigative agencies, saying that they lacked “the solid ground for investigation” demanding that his client be released on bail.
Contending his custodial extension by the CBI Karti Chidambaram alleged that the investigations against him are triggered by a “political vendetta” and that the CBI was acting ” at the behest of the present government”to bring disrepute to his father the former finance minister.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has issued a fresh summons for some senior officials from the finance ministry handling FIPB approvals to the INX media and Aircel-Maxis, based on the FIR registered by CBI. It has also scheduled an interrogation with former INX promoter Peter Mukherjea in connection with alleged kickbacks paid to Karti Chidambaram, the INX media and Aircel-Maxis cases.