A special court sought the presence of jailed INX media director Indrani Mukerjea before it next month in a money laundering case against her and others including Karti Chidambaram, son of former minister P Chidambaram.
Special judge Sunil Rana allowed the plea of Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking issuance of production warrant against her and directed her to be produced on September 9.
Mukerjea is currently facing trial in Mumbai and is lodged in a jail there in connection with the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora.
ED’s advocate Nitesh Rana termed the case as “serious” and said that her custodial interrogation was required since the investigation was not moving forward. “The CBI has already issued lookout circular against another accused Karti Chidambaram in the case. Her custodial interrogation is required since she is not going to cooperate with us … she is in judicial custody,” he told the court.
The ED has registered the case against Karti Chidambaram, INX media and its directors, Peter and Indrani, and others, after taking cognisance of a recent CBI FIR against them.
The Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), ED’s equivalent of a police FIR, was registered under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The accused have denied all the charges against them.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Karti and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
It is alleged that Karti had received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
The CBI had also recovered vouchers of Rs 10 lakh which were allegedly paid for the services. These vouchers were issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm “indirectly” owned by Karti, the CBI had alleged.
The senior Chidambaram, after the CBI searches on May 16, had issued a strong statement in response to the raids saying the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son. FIPB approval was granted in “hundreds of cases”, the senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister had said.
The CBI FIR was made out against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwanathan.