A Delhi court on Monday deferred the arguments on a plea of Karti Chidambaram’s CA S Bhaskararaman seeking anticipatory bail fearing arrest by the CBI in the INX Media case, after the probe agency sought time to file a reply. Special Judge Sunil Rana, who has already granted him bail in the ED case, posted the matter for hearing on March 26.
The counsel for Bhaskararaman had moved an anticipatory bail application on March 12 before the court apprehending that after the ED, the CBI would seek his custody for interrogation. The special court had on March 13 granted bail to Bhaskararaman in the INX Media money laundering saying there were no specific allegation against him except that he aided former Union minister P Chidambaram’s son in committing the crime. The CA was sent to jail on February 26 after his custodial interrogation by the ED.
Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram was the finance minister during the previous UPA regime.
The ED had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.
To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged. The FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, it had alleged.