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INX Media case: Enforcement Directorate attaches Karti Chidambaram's assets worth Rs 54 crore in Delhi, Chennai, UK, Barcelona

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate attached Karti Chidambaram's properties collectively valued at Rs 54 crore. Besides his properties in India, properties in London, and Spain have been attached, too, media reports said.

File image of Karti Chidambaram. News18

File image of Karti Chidambaram. News18

The central probe agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of Indian assets in Kodaikanal and Ooty in Tamil Nadu and a flat in Delhi's Jorbagh.

A cottage and house in Somerset in UK and a tennis club located in Barcelona, Spain have also been attached as part of the same order, the agency said.

Fixed Deposits worth Rs 90 lakh, kept in a bank in Chennai, in the name of Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited (ASCPL) have also been attached, it said.

The assets are in the name of Karti and ASCPL, the firm allegedly linked to him, it said.

"The attached assets collectively amount to Rs 54 crore," it said.

The ED had registered a PMLA case in this deal case on the basis of a CBI FIR and had alleged that irregularities took place in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

The ED had grilled Karti in this case in the past.

Meanwhile, Karti Chidambaram questioned the order which he said in a tweet was 'bizarre and outlandish'

In the first week of August, the Supreme Court (SC) had refused to interfere with a Delhi High Court (HC) order granting bail to Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, for alleged financial irregularities related to INX Media.

When it comes to the question of liberty, the courts do not go into technicality, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said.

The bench said it is not interfering with the bail granted to Karti but was leaving the question of law open -- on whether he can approach the high court when his application for bail was already pending before the trial court.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said this question of law has to be kept open as invoking powers of concurrent jurisdiction of the high court may be a case of "forum shopping".

On 23 March, a single judge bench of the high court granted bail to Karti, who was arrested on 28 February by the CBI, saying the relief should not be refused unless the crime was of the "highest magnitude" entailing "severe punishment".

Karti was arrested from Chennai in connection with an FIR lodged on 15 May last year, which had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for receiving funds of about Rs 305 crore from overseas in 2007 when his father P Chidambaram was Union finance minister.

Both Karti and Chidambaram have denied all allegations made by CBI, as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The CBI initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance to INX Media. It later revised the figure to $1 million.

Investigating agencies are probing the senior Congress leader's alleged role in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the Rs 305-crore INX Media case. It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-1 government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures, in which alleged irregularities have been found.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May last year, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance to the media group for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore, in 2007. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard.

Updated Date: Oct 11, 2018 11:48 AM

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