The Law Ministry on Sunday gave its nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX media case. His son Karti Chidambaram has already been charged in the case and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also attached his assets worth an estimated Rs 54 crore, located in India and abroad.
The CBI and the ED had on January 25 told the Delhi High Court that they need to take Chidambaram into custody for interrogation.
The veteran Congress leader’s role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
It was during his tenure as finance minister that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures. The CBI filed an FIR in the INX case on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group for receiving overseas funds when P Chidambaram was finance minister.
The ED had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED's equivalent of a police FIR, against the accused named in a CBI complaint, including Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
Karti Chidambaram was also arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007. He was later granted bail.
The Supreme Court last week had allowed Karti Chidambaram to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with its registry but asked him to cooperate with the probe in the INX Media and Aircel Maxis cases, saying "don't play around with the law".
(With inputs from Express News Service and agencies)