CBI raids premises of P Chidambaram, son
The CBI on Tuesday searched the homes and offices of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, across four cities for allegedly receiving money from a media firm owned by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea to scuttle a tax probe.
CBI sleuths fanned out across the Chidambaram's' properties in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram early on Tuesday morning. The investigating agency had filed an FIR on Monday evening on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
It is 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.
Congress leader and son of former union minister P Chidambaram, Karti, said he has not done anything wrong and alleged a political vendetta behind the CBI raids.
His father issued a strong statement in response to say that the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son.
"The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends...The government's aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations," he said.
The Congress on Tuesday said that none of its leaders or that of the opposition would be cowed down by the politics of "revenge and vendetta" which had "become the DNA of this BJP government".
Union Minister Piyush Goyal rejected Chidambaram's charge that he was being targeted for his columns critical of the government and claimed that the issue was why beneficiaries of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave "money to the firms owned by his son".
According to the CBI, INX Media clearly states in its records that Rs 10 lakh was given to Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm "indirectly" owned by Karti, for management consultancy charged towards FIPB notification and clarification.
The FIR also alleges that invoices of approximately Rs 3.5 crore were raised in favour of INX group in the name of other companies in which Karti had substantial interests "directly or indirectly".
The agency has registered an FIR against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its Director Padma Vishwanathan.
The CBI, which searched Chidambaram's home in Nugambakkam in Chennai, also carried out searches at the house of former media baron Peter Mukerjea, sources said.