Indrani Mukerjea’s credibility and confession at heart of Karti Chidambaram case

Indrani Mukerjea alleged she, along with her husband Peter, had met Karti Chidambaram in a hotel where he demanded $1 million in foreign currency to clear approvals for foreign funding sought by INX media.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2018 08:46 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Karti Chidambaram CBI custody,INX Media case,Indrani Mukerjea
Karti Chidambaram leaves Patiala House Courts after he was remanded to five-day CBI custody in the INX Media case, in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

At the heart of Thursday’s courtroom battle to determine Karti Chidambaram’s custody was the credibility and statement of Indrani Mukherjea, the co-founder of INX media.

The CBI told the court that Indrani on February 17 had recorded her statement, under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in front of a magistrate. Indrani had alleged that she, along with her husband Peter Mukherjea, had met Karti in a hotel where he demanded $1 million in foreign currency to clear approvals for foreign funding sought by INX media.

The confession became a major talking point during the argument where on one side was the additional solicitor general (ASG) of India Tushar Mehta, who was representing the CBI, and on the other was senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. In attendance were Karti’s parents, former finance minister P Chidambaram and his wife Nalini.

Singhvi questioned the confessional statement by Indrani, stating that the “confession-maker was being prosecuted by the CBI” and added that “to suit her masters (CBI), Indrani had made the statement 10 years after the alleged meeting”. Indrani has been charged with the murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora.

The senior lawyer further questioned CBI’s motive behind taking into consideration a statement by a murder suspect. However, the reference to Indrani during the argument did not end there. Singhvi told the special judge Sunil Rana that CBI was leaking the confession to the media and the same was circulating “all over WhatsApp”.

While responding to Singhvi’s argument, Tushar Mehta said, “Indrani might be a murder suspect and even might be guilty of the crime but she was speaking the truth when it came to her meeting with Karti”.

Mehta said the probe agency had corroborated the statement, as a response to Singhvi who had earlier said the probe agency had not corroborated Indrani’s confession.

“We have seen travel details of the couple. Their stay in the hotel etc. Everything is on record,” Mehta said.

The court eventually decided to extend Karti’s custody by five days.

First Published: Mar 02, 2018 07:46 IST