Indrani Mukerjea, murderer who became physically fragile, her hair greyed and face become gloomy while she was kept in jail. All of sudden, now there is sparkling in eyes, the hair is dyed black again, her accent is clipped, and there’s a little smile playing on her lips. You can read on her face that this time she is in mood to play between the Congress and the BJP. She striked right code and got some life for herself. Indrani and her husband Peter Mukerjea, who owned INX Media had claimed in their statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that when they met P Chidambaram (then a finance minister) in his North Block office in 2006, he asked them to meet his son Karti and suggested to help him in his business.
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan told Afternoon Voice, “It is a subjudice matter. I would not like to comment anything. I don’t have complete information about this entire episode. Therefore, any rhetoric is not reasonable.”
Indrani had recorded in her statement on February 17, 2018, now part of court documents, that Karti had asked them (Mukerjeas) for a bribe of $1 million when they met at Hyatt hotel in Delhi. They worked out a plan according to which Mukerjeas engaged Karti’s company Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL). As part of the alleged quid pro quo, ASCPL and its associated companies around this time raised four invoices for $700,000 (Rs 3.10 crore) on INX Media and were reimbursed. Soon, FIPB gave its approval to fix the irregularities. According to a CBI official who did not wish to be named, in March 2007, INX Media breached the condition on which it had been allowed by FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) to raise 46 per cent equity through issue of shares. Against the permission to raise Rs 4.62 crore by issuing shares at face value, the company got in Rs 305 crore by issuing shares at a premium. In addition, it also bypassed FIPB to make 26 per cent downstream investment in INX News Private Limited. Karti was earlier arrested in the case in February 2018.
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “It is clear that P Chidambaram’s name figured nowhere in INX Media case. Indrani Mukerjea has been in jail since September 2015. Has she revealed everything today? There are six secretaries in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Any file goes to Finance Minister of India after scrutiny of these secretaries. But no one of FIPB has been questioned as of now. They directly caught the former finance minister of the country. First thing, it is a clear cut political vendetta against Chidambaram. Second thing, economy of the country is on slowdown. In order to divert the attention of the nation, they are targeting the opposition leaders. It is a filthy politics of the BJP.”
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleged that in 2006 a company controlled by Karti Chidambaram, the son of P Chidambaram, received a five-per cent share of Aircel to get part of Rs 40 billion paid by Maxis Communications for the 74 per cent share of Aircel. According to Swamy, Chidambaram withheld Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance of the deal until his son received the five-per cent share in Siva’s company.
Madhav Bhandari, chief spokesperson, BJP Maharashtra said, “There is no role of any political party in a murder case. Legal procedure will be carry out as per law. Ultimately, court will deliver its verdict.”