Descriptive Test - SPLessons

INX Media Case 2019 – Role of P. Chidambaram

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INX Media Case 2019 – Role of P. Chidambaram

shape Introduction

What is INX Media Case?
In the case of INX Media, there has been a constant and important investigation of money laundering in India. In this case, it was claimed that clearances granted to the INX Media group, to attain overseas funds (foreign funds) worth around Rupees 305 crore in 2007 by doing malfunctioning in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). This was the moment when P. Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

A View From The Outside – A Book By P. Chidambaram – Crucial interface between economics and politics

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.

shape Allegations

What are the charges/corruption allegations against Mr. Chidambaram?

  • A case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) was recorded in 2010 by the Enforcement Directorate (a law enforcement agency which implement the economic laws and fight against financial crime in India), in which three Mauritius companies (namely, New Vernon Private Equity Ltd., New Silk Route PE Mauritius, and Dunearn Investment Mauritius) in INX Media transferred the foreign direct investment to its branches, without FIPB’s prior consent.

  • The investigation was stopped without explanation in 2013. The Mumbai office of Enforcement Directorate has stated in 2015 that the 2010 FEMA case under the Money Laundering Act of 2002 will be reopened.

  • An Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) was lodged in May 2017 against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors – Peter and Indrani Mukerjea under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). In October 2017, P. Chidambaram had told the Supreme Court that a “politically motivated vendetta” was being carried out against him and his son by the Central Government, led by the BJP.

  • Chartered Accountant of Karti Chidambaram, S. Bhaskararaman was held in custody in February 2018 for directly helping him handle his wealth in India and abroad. Karti Chidambaram was caught at the Chennai airport and taken to Delhi by CBI in the same month. After 23 days in prison, he got bail.

    In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate filed a case of money laundering in this respect and the CBI called Chidambaram for interrogation. In March 2018, Indrani Mukerjea informed the CBI in a report that Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas had entered into a $1 million agreement to obtain FIPB approval for INX Media.

  • Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had been detained by the CBI and ED authorities to ask him on the case of corruption in the INX Media. He issued a press declaration that in the INX Media case, he did not commit any offence and will obey the law.

  • In the case of corruption, P. Chidambaram asked the Delhi High Court to issue an anticipatory bail on 30 May 2018. In the case of money laundering also, recorded by ED in July 2018, the minister requested the anticipatory bail from Delhi HC. On 20 August 2019, the Delhi High Court rejected his request for an anticipatory bail in the INX Media Case.

  • In July 2019, in return for complete and genuine disclosure, Indrani asked to be pardoned.

shape Status

What is the current status of the case?

  • P. Chidambaram was detained on Wednesday night i.e. 18 August 2019 by the CBI after a dramatic confrontation between Congress and BJP workers. The CBI team was compelled to jump over his house fence and arrest him.

  • On Friday i.e. 20 August 2019, the Supreme Court mentioned the appeal for arrest
  • protection of P. Chidambaram. Supreme Court refused him an urgent hearing in this matter.

  • P. Chidambaram has been sent to CBI custody of 5 days till 26 August 2019.

  • On this matter, Karti Chidambaram said that it was done to distract individuals from the Kashmir problem.

  • In West Bengal, Congress workers held roadblocks and rallies to protest on the arrest of P. Chidambaram.

  • Supreme Court heard the petition of P. Chidambaram on 27 August 2019 against ED.

  • The Rouse Avenue Court permitted the further continued expansion of P. Chidambaram’s remand to CBI. Until Monday i.e. 2 September 2019, he will stay in the CBI custody.

  • Chidambaram’s interim arrest protection has also expanded by the Bench till 5 September 2019.
    Supreme Court declared that it will hear the case on the petition of P. Chidambaram, former Finance Minister, on 5 September 2019.

  • The bench also ordered the ED to put the material in a sealed cover which the testing agency wished to generate before the court for examination.

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Author: Vanshika
Published: September,2019