The Central Bureau of Investigation has raided the homes of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with criminal misconduct in grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval. The raid was conducted in 17 different locations across New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai and Chidambaram’s hometown Chennai.
The case relates to a deal between telecom players Aircel and the Malaysia-headquartered Maxis group, and investments received by media group INX News, during the tenure of Chidambaram as the finance minister. Chidambaram is accused of clearing the deal between the two players namely Aircel and Maxis without the nod of the cabinet, an act mandatory for investment proposals above Rs 600 crore, whereas his son accused of receiving kickbacks, in lieu of foreign investment clearance to INX Media.
INX Media was then in possession of media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, who are now lodged in jail as accused in the murder of their daughter Sheena Bora. Karti Chidambaram Company is also investigated by the CBI, for receiving Rs. 10 lakhs from INX Media that got FIPB (Foreign Exchange Promotion Board) clearance for four crores whereas it actually received Rs. 305 crores.
Karti Chidambaram and a firm ostensibly linked to him were also served a show cause notice in April this year, by the ED (Enforcement Directorate), for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of worth Rs 45 crore.
P Chidambaram has accused the government of trying to silence, while the Congress Party has called it a ‘witch hunt’ against him. The raid on Tuesday emanates from litigation brought by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against Chidambaram.