Senior Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram failed to appear before a Delhi court on Wednesday in connection with the INX media money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The father and son duo sought exemption from appearance citing their star campaigner status in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.
Special Judge MK Nagpal initially suggested that the Chidambarams appear through video conferencing, but later accepted their exemption applications.
Meanwhile, co-accused Peter Mukerjea, who is out on bail in the CBI case, has moved bail in the ED case through his lawyer Sandeep Kapur. His bail application will be heard on April 16. On the same day the court will hear the scrutiny of documents after it supplied copies of the chargesheet to the accused today.
The court has taken cognizance of the chargesheet filed against P Chidambaram, his son Karti and eight others in the INX media case.
In May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was Finance Minister. The ED later lodged a money laundering case in the matter.
On the last date of hearing, the ED had told the court that in the complaint, “a total of Rs 65.88 crores has been detected till date, is the amount of properties involved in money laundering as a result of criminal activities relating to the Scheduled offences of the above case registered by CBI and the money was laundered by the accused persons in the form of various movable and immovable assets in India and some foreign countries.”
Further, out of this amount of Rs.65.88 Crores, properties worth Rs.53.93 Crores have already been attached by the DoE, the court was told.
The court was told that the “first installment of illegal gratification of Rs.3,08,62,044 was paid by INX Media to ASCPL and two other shell companies beneficially owned or controlled by the accused Karti, namely M/s Kriya FMCG Distributors Pvt.Ltd M/s MCBN Placement and Management Centre, and this amount was paid during the year 2007-08 through the companies named Span Fibre and M/s Satyam Fibre (India) Pvt. Ltd.”
The ED told the court that this amount was paid through 12 fake debit notes raised by ASCPL, Kriya and CBNPMC on Span Fibre and Satyam Fibre at Peter Mukerjea’s insistence and it was shown to have been paid as a commission for sale of Polyester Staple Fibre (PSF) by Span Fibre and Satyam Fibre to different companies names in these fake debit notes.
The court was told that the bank details of the three companies receiving payments against these debit notes/invoices confirmed that the amount of these companies were “substantially utilized for the benefit of Karti P. Chidambaram and other persons related to him.”