Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Karti produced in court, CBI seeks 14 days of custodial interrogation

Karti produced in court, CBI seeks 14 days of custodial interrogation reported: "Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had approached the Supreme Court seeking protection of his fundamental rights, including the right to privacy, amid summons to his son Karti Chidambaram and raids by the CBI and the ED in connection with cases related to Aircel-Maxis and INX Media".

The CBI sought his custodial interrogation for 15 days claiming he was not cooperating but got a day's custody only.

Karti was arrested from the Chennai airport on Wednesday morning on his arrival from London.

The CBI had lodged an FIR on May 15 past year alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

When Karti was brought to the Patiala House district court premises and was taken to the court room, he told the waiting scribes, "It is absolutely a political vendetta".

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In his petition, Chidambaram has sought the apex court's direction prohibiting the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) from continuing their "illegal investigations" and from acting in any manner "causing repeated harassment" to him and his family members, including his son.

Due to his hospitalisation, the CBI's one-day custody was virtually wasted, he said. There was need to travel to several cities for which 14 days custody would be required, he said. Indrani Mukerjea's statement is CBI's key evidence.

He also alleged that Indrani Mukherjea made the confessions under the compulsion of the CBI as she is in its custody in the case of the brutal murder of her own daughter.

The senior lawyer contended that in connection with the May 2017 FIR, the CBI has spent roughly 22 hours with Karti in August past year and no fresh summons were issued to him after August 2017 till today, which shows the agency has nothing more to ask him.

The court will decided on his bail plea on 7 March.

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A long legal battle is in the offing for senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram as the father-son duo are in the radar of the probe agencies in another case concerning the Aircel-Maxis deal. However, the duty magistrate granted only one day's custody.

While Chess Management Global Pvt Ltd was engaged by INX Media to advise in the matter, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) was made a payment of Rs 10 lakh as consultancy fee.

The CBI counsel told the court there is sufficient evidence of links between Karti and the companies which allegedly received kickbacks from Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, the then promoters of INX Media.

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate also claimed that searches of premises linked to the accused in the case led to discovery of vouchers of payments made by INX Media to companies connected to Karti, and to foreign entities which received close to United States dollars 700,000 in Greece and Spain.

Regarding the bribe allegation, Singhvi said Karti Chidambaram was not a director or a shareholder of Advantage Strategic company, one of the companies through which the Mukerjeas had allegedly paid the bribe.

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