PC asked us to help Karti’s business, make overseas payments: Indrani
Team Udayavani, Aug 22, 2019, 6:51 PM IST
New Delhi: The money laundering and corruption case against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is largely centred on the testimony of Indrani Mukerjea in which she claims that the Congress leader asked her to help his son Karti’s business in return for granting FIPB approval to her comapny, INX Media.
She also claims in the 2017 written testimony to Enforcement Directorate that she subsequently met Karti Chidramabarm in a five-star hotel in New Delhi in 2008 when he asked her to remit USD 1 million into an overseas account owned by him or his associates.
Both the Chidambarams have vehemently denied the claim. Karti said on Wednesday that he had never met Mukerjea in his life until he was taken by the police to meet with her in a Mumbai jail where she is lodged.
Mukerjea and husband Peter Mukerjea were the promoters of INX Media, and are both currently in jail facing trial in the murder of her 24-year-old daughter Sheena Bora from a previous marriage. Both the murder case and the corruption part of the INX Media case are being investigated by CBI. In addition, the Enforcement Directorate is investigating the money laundering aspect.
Indrani Mukerjea recorded her statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and said she and her husband met Chidambaram at his office in Delhi’s North Block in 2008.
“Peter started the conversation with Mr P Chidambaram referring to the application of INX Media for bringing in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and handed copy of the application to Mr P Chidambaram.
“After having understood the issue, Mr P Chidambaram told Peter to help his son Karti in his business and make possible overseas remittances in lieu of FIPB approval,” Indrani said in her statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Indrani said in the statement seen by PTI that when they came to know that there were alleged irregularities in the FIPB approval request, Peter decided they should approach Chidambaram to “resolve” these issues.
“Peter said that the alleged violations can be regularised with Karti P Chidambaram’s help and (obtain his) advice to resolve these issues related to FIPB,” she said.
She added that the couple then met Karti in a hotel in Delhi.
“Karti knew about the issue and asked if 1 million US dollars could be transferred into an overseas account either owned by him or his associates in order to sort out the matter. When Peter said that the overseas transfer will not be possible, Karti suggested the names of 2 companies, Chess Management and Advantage Strategic as alternatives to make the desired payments into their accounts and that they will present themselves as consultants to INX Media Pvt Ltd,” she said.
Indrani, however, added in her statement that these payments were “handled” by Peter and that she did not know how much money was paid for “addressing” the senior Chidambaram’s interest of helping his son.