ED files chargesheet against Chidambaram, son in INX case | India News

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Jun 3, 2020

NEW DELHI: Amid lockdown, the Enforcement Directorate on Monday filed a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against former FM P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the INX-Media money laundering case in a Delhi court.
The chargesheet was filed through the e-filing facility even as the court refused to take cognizance of the matter and directed the agency to file it once again when the normal court functioning begins. The court it seems has deferred taking cognizance of the prosecution complaint.
This is first chargesheet against Chidambaram and his son in the INX-Media case being investigated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act though the CBI and ED had earlier filed another chargesheet against the father and son in the Aircel-Maxis case. If the special PMLA court at Rouse Avenue in the Capital takes cognizance of the chargesheet, the trial of the former FM begins.
In the INX-Media money laundering case, the former FM has already spent 106 days in custody of CBI and ED and was released on bail. During his custodial interrogation, Chidambaram was confronted with lot of evidence the agency has gathered related to his son’s association with shell companies that allegedly received tainted money and invested in acquiring foreign properties using front entities.
Karti is accused of having received bribes from the company which received foreign direct investment (FDI) clearance from the finance ministry when his father was the FM. Widening the probe, the ED later traced several shell companies registered in tax havens and assets acquired in foreign countries, all allegedly linked to Karti Chidambaram.
The ED had earlier told the Supreme Court that it has “collected documentary evidence such as emails exchanged between the co-conspirators on behalf of the appellant (Chidambaram) and documents to indicate investment of laundered money in benami properties whose beneficial owners can be traced to the appellant and his family members”.
The agency had also argued that Chidambaram was aware of the benami properties acquired in foreign countries and provided evidence showing share holding pattern of the 16 shell companies associated with Karti Chidamdbaram. The ED had also brought to the notice of the courts that there were at least 17 overseas bank accounts opened by the accused to layer transactions and launder money earned through illegitimate means.
The apex court, while granting bail to Chidambaram in the INX-Media case, had recorded the facts relating to Karti Chidambaram’s association with “opening of shell companies and also purchasing benami properties in the name of relatives at various places in different countries”.
After his release from jail, the former FM was again summoned by the agency on January 3 and questioned in connection with the bribes paid in the Air India-Boeing deal signed during the UPA regime. Chidambaram was chairman of the Empowered Group of Ministers that had cleared the deal. Former Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel is one of the accused in the case and has already been questioned twice.

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