The Enforcement Directorate has registered a case of money laundering against Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, after taking cognizance of an FIR filed by the CBI in connection with the alleged irregularities relating to foreign direct investments received by INX Media in 2007.
The case was registered on Thursday against Karti, who is believed to have left India on the same day. There is, however, no lookout circular against Karti or an official ban on his travel, officials told the Hindustan Times.
Agency officials said the ED will probe the allegation that Karti received payments in lieu of the “services” rendered to INX Media by his company Chess Management Services.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Karti used his influence in the finance ministry to help INX Media get an approval to receive foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors.
The investigation agency said INX Media allegedly received approval from (FIPB) for Rs 4.62 crore investment but got Rs 305 crore by sale of shares at a premium of Rs 800 per share instead of Rs 10 as mentioned by the media group in their application.
Moreover, the company went against the decision of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and made a downstream investment of 26% of its capital share. The FIPB had asked INX to seek permission from the ministry of information and broadcasting before making investments, said CBI.
On Monday, the CBI filed an FIR against Karti, INX Media Pvt Ltd through its director Indrani Mukherjea, INX News Pvt Ltd through its director Peter Mukherjea, Advance Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL) through its director Padma Vishwanathan and other officials of the ministry.
The CBI alleged that after the income tax department sought clarifications from FIPB, INX Media roped in Karti’s Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd “to get the issues resolved” by influencing officials of the FIPB.
The ED will probe the trail and use of the money allegedly received by Karti from INX.