Karti Chidambaram arrested by CBI for FEMA violation
NEW DELHI: Congress leader Karti Chidambram was on Wednesday arrested by the CBI from Chennai for violating the Foreign Exchange Managament Act (FEMA).
Karti was arrested from Chennai Airport, news agency ANI reported. He appears to have been arrested as soon as he landed in Chennai. He had been on a visit to the United Kingdom, specifically his alma mater at Cambridge University.
This case relates to the approval given by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for receipt of funds to INX Media, which had happened while his father P Chidambaram was Union Finance Minister.
The central probe had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED’s equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in a CBI complaint, including Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors — Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
The ECIR was lodged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
It was the Enforcement Directorate which had provided information about the alleged illegal payments made by INX Media, based on which the CBI had filed its FIR.
The CBI had also carried out searches at the houses and offices of Karti Chidambaram across four cities for allegedly receiving money from the media firm owned by the Mukerjeas to scuttle a tax probe.
The Chidambarams, however, have denied all the charges made against them.
The CBI had filed the FIR against Karti and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
The agency has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
The CBI FIR was made out against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder of their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwanathan.