INX Media Case – Background of this case:
P. Chidambaram, the then Union Finance Minister of India, apparently supported INX Media in violation of foreign investment laws. It was established by media entrepreneurs Indrani Mukerjea and his husband Peter Mukerjea. INX Media was authorized to receive Rupees 4.62 crore (US$ 670,000) of foreign investments but got a capital of Rupees 305 crore (US$ 44 million).
INX Media asked the Chairman of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in March 2007, when P. Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister of India, for the approval of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 3 non-resident investors residing in Mauritius. This capital was needed to produce and manage various TV channels under the INX Media banner. The proposal to the FIPB referred to its purpose of making a downstream economic investment of 26% shares of INX News Pvt. Ltd. issued and significant share capital.
The FIPB sanctioned the FDI inflow proposal by Rupees 4.62 crore but declined to agree to downstream investment. Moreover, CBI claims that the company has taken the downstream investment voluntarily and in breach of the terms and approval. It also created FDI above Rupees 305 crore by providing shares of over Rupees 800 per share to investors abroad.
INX Media attempted to avoid the investigation by asking Karti Chidambaram to use his family name, when the Income Tax Department in February 2008 needed explanations on the issue. The CBI stated that through his consultancy Advantage Strategic Consulting Ltd., Karti Chidambaram was provided with a bribe in the form of Rupees.
In 2009, INX Media was deserted by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who sold their 30% share in the company which was falling in that period. The company was later named 9X Media.
P. Chidambaram has been sent to CBI custody of 5 days till 26 August 2019.