In a relief embattled Congress leader P Chidambaram, the Madras High Court quashed Income Tax department’s order sanctioning criminal prosecution of Chidambaram’s family members in the black money case, holding that no such offence was made out against them.
The issue came into light when Whistleblower of NDTV frauds, Income Tax Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Srivastava informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that the former tainted Finance Minister P Chidambaram had parked 40 million dollars (Rs.200 crores) in NDTV.
In a detailed letter to the CBI Director recently, the Income Tax Commissioner said that this 40 million dollar was the bribe taken by P Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis deal and the money was parked in NDTV as an investment from a Maxis subsidiary All Astro Asia Network. And Srivastava has mentioned such points in his letter, which indicates that the senior Cong leader might be the owner of NDTV!
Srivastava explained in his 88-pages letter to CBI Director detailing the frauds committed by bank scam accused Pranoy Roy headed TV channel, which reads “NDTV Ltd. needs to be investigated over parking of bribe of US $40 million by Maxis and its owner T. Ananda Krishnan, who is accused in the Aircel-Maxis case on behalf of P Chidambaram and Karti P. Chidambaram for obtaining FIPB approval in Rs.3500 crores. Aircel-Maxis deal fraudulently claiming the proposal for Rs.180 crores only when gross value of the proposal was to be considered and which has been hushed up by certain IRS officers in lieu of bribe paid by NDTV Ltd” he added.
Furthermore, he claimed, as per the consideration for that fraud, an illegal gratification of US $40 million was paid by Maxis and T Ananda Krishnan and on behalf of Karti Chidambaram and was routed through NDTV Ltd disguised as a purchase of shares, 49% indirect stake whatever that may mean of NDTV Lifestyle Holdings Pvt. Ltd wholly owned by NDTV Networks Plc, UK which was wholly owned by NDTV Networks BV, Holland and which in turn was wholly owned by NDTV Ltd, India and all of which were spurious letterbox companies owned and floated by NDTV Ltd to launder the proceeds of crime bring the bribe paid to the then Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Karti by various entities by All Astro Asia Networks Plc, UK wholly owned subsidiary of the Maxis Ltd an T Ananda Krishnan.
The fraudulent nature of the transaction between NDTV and Maxis is borne out from the fact that Maxis Ltd never cared to carry its investment or seek any return on that or get involved in the affairs of the company which was 49% owned by Maxis Ltd & had just forgotten their huge investment of about Rs.200 crores with NDTV Ltd and its subsidiaries. The case was concealed by the NDTV Ltd by paying a bribe to the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers, stated Income Tax Commissioner SK Srivastava.
Furthermore, he explained in his letter to the CBI director that CBI officials closed down the Preliminary Enquiry against three IRS officers who were in charge of NDTV’s Income Tax related files.
The Income Tax Commissioner SK Srivastava also said that Presently different divisions of the CBI are handling the cases of the bribe paid by NDTV Ltd to IRS officers and their conduits (Sumana Sen IRS & her spouse and then NDTV anchor Abhisar Sharma and accomplices Ashima Neb IRS and BK Jha IRS) and the embezzlement of Rs. 1, 46,82,836 from Government account by NDTV Ltd.
SK Srivastava urged CBI to find how Chidambaram parked his ill-gotten wealth in NDTV.
Read the full letter of Income Tax Commissioner to CBI, which is published below:
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court quashed the criminal prosecution against his family members in a black money case, which relates to alleged non-disclosure of overseas assets and bank accounts held by Chidambaram’s wife Nalini, his son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi.
According to the I-T Department, the three had not disclosed a property they jointly owned in Cambridge in the UK worth Rs 53.7 million in their returns which amounted to an offence under the black money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act and Imposition of Tax Act.
The family members of the former union minister had filed writ petitions challenging the criminal prosecution. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram both have denied the allegations leveled against them by the CBI and the ED.
The court has fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet but extended till then the protection granted to them from arrest.
If found any such guilty, they would be liable to a jail term of up to seven years besides fine, according to the reports.
The senior Congress leader’s role came under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal besides the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
Note: India-aware does not vouch for the authenticity of the letter.