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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

ED, CBI not able to establish crime: Karti

Karti also wondered why agencies took 10 years -- the administrative decision was taken in 2007, an FIR was registered in 2012, and a second case was registered in 2017, he pointed out -- and 20 summons, four raids and days of custody to establish anything.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2019 00:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Karti also challenged ED to identify the FIPB officials he is believed to have colluded with, and also his undeclared assets across the world.
Karti also challenged ED to identify the FIPB officials he is believed to have colluded with, and also his undeclared assets across the world. (HT FILE)
         

Congress lawmaker Karti Chidambaram, who is facing proceedings in INX Media and the Aircel-Maxis cases, on Monday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have so far not been able to substantiate allegations against him. He also sought to know why the probe agencies have not arrested any of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) officials if they had indeed colluded with him.

Karti, son of former union minister P Chidambaram, has been out on bail in both cases . The latter is in judicial custody following his arrest by CBI in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of FIPB approval to INX Media. Specifically, the case revolves around the FIPB clearance given to INX Media for receiving ₹305 crore as overseas investment in 2007. Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time.

“Is it a case that Karti Chidambaram has known sources of disproportionate assets or is it a case about FIPB? Till now the crime has not been established. The ED has not been able to even ascertain if there was anything wrong in the FIPB process,” Karti said on Monday.

“What is the error FIPB has committed? Has anybody established that? If they have established the error, why can’t they pinpoint who took the erroneous decision and whether it was mala fide or an administrative lapse?” he added .

CBI and the ED did not comment on Karti’s claims.

Karti also wondered why the agencies took 10 years -- the administrative decision was taken in 2007, an FIR was registered in 2012, and a second case was registered in 2017, he pointed out -- and 20 summons, four raids and days of custody to establish anything.

Karti, who represents Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu) constituency in the Lok Sabha, admitted that he has a house in London but claimed that the entire money for that house was legally routed through Indian Overseas Bank with all requisite permissions from the Reserve Bank of India.

Denying the statement of Indrani Mukerjea, the jailed co-founder of INX Media who has turned approver in the INX Media case, that she met Karti at Delhi’s Hyatt hotel after being asked by Chidambaram to help his son’s business. Karti said he first met her at Byculla jail in Mumbai when CBI took him there for a cross examination. “There is a 15-minute video recording of our confrontation. Why don’t they release the video?” asks Karhi. Indrani Mukerjea is currently facing trial for allegedly orchestrating the death of her daughter Sheena Bora.

Karti also challenged ED to identify the FIPB officials he is believed to have colluded with, and also his undeclared assets across the world. “If they have any such proof, they should provide it to the Lok Sabha secretariat and I will be disqualified for giving wrong information in the poll affidavit,” Karti said.

He admitted that he knew the directors of Advantage Strategic Consultancy Pvt Ltd (ASCPL), which helped INX Media. “They are my friends,” he added, but denied taking any favours from them.

The CBI and ED have alleged that P Chidambaram and Karti are beneficiaries of bribes paid in INX Media case.

First Published: Sep 09, 2019 23:51 IST