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INX Media case: CBI to file charge sheet against P Chidambaram

INX Media case: CBI to file charge sheet against P Chidambaram
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New Delhi: The CBI is likely to file a chargesheet in the INX media foreign investment clearance case as it has received sanction from the Centre to prosecute former finance minister P Chidambaram, under whose tenure approval for it was given, officials said Friday.

They said after clearance from the Centre, giving a go-ahead to the agency to press charges against Chidambaram, the CBI might soon proceed with the filing of the chargesheet. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017 against alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was the finance minister.

The Law Ministry had told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that there was "no legal infirmity" in the agency's request seeking prosecution sanction. This view has now been communicated to the CBI, they said.

Chidambaram was not listed as an accused in the FIR registered by the agency.

The Prevention of Corruption Act mandates an investigating agency to get prior sanction from competent authority for prosecution of an accused public servant.

The agency had registered the FIR against Karti Chidamabaram, his company Chess Management Services, Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea, INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its Director Padma Vishwanathan. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate are investigating the foreign investment clearance granted to the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 and the INX Media in 2007. The government has already given sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case. Chidambaram had denied allegations of any wrongdoing in clearing the foreign investment proposals of these companies. According to the CBI, INX Media stated 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.

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