Published On: Fri, Mar 9th, 2018

Court grants Karti Chidambaram’s custody to CBI for three more days

New Delhi: A court here on Friday extended by three more days the CBI custody of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram to interrogate him in the INX Media corruption case.

Karti Chidambaram was confronted with Indrani Mukherjea in Mumbai last week

The custody was given after the CBI said it had found “new incriminating documents” to prove that Karti Chidambaram got kickbacks to get foreign investment clearance for INX Media when his father was the union Finance Minister.

Karti will now be in CBI custody till March 12. Delhi’s Patiala House court will next hear Karti’s bail plea on March 15.

The agency had sought Karti’s custody for six additional days, citing “new incriminating materials” as grounds to interrogate him further. It had also moved two applications, seeking court permission to confront Karti with his Chartered Accountant S Bhaskararaman. The second is to allow the CBI to bring Indrani and Peter Mukerjea to Delhi and identify the places where they met Karti Chidambaram.

CBI judge Sunil Rana gave his nod to the first application, making way for the CBI to bring Karti and his chartered accountant face-to-face in Tihar jail.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta said that a CD and documents were recovered in connection with the case which needed to be sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory for examination.

The ASG said that new incriminating materials have been found and Karti has to be confronted with them.

Earlier, the CBI sought further six-day custody of Karti Chidambaram to interrogate him for allegedly receiving kickbacks in getting foreign investment clearances to private companies when his father P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a special court here that the CBI had recovered a lot of documents proving that the senior Congress leader’s son had direct links with Advantage Strategic.

The firm allegedly received lakhs of rupees from Aircel and INX Media for facilitating Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals.

Mehta said the CBI raided an earlier unknown office of Advantage Strategic in Chennai on Wednesday and Thursday and “recovered a lot of documents proving Karti Chidambaram was directly associated with it.

“So we need six more days of police custody.”

Defence lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the CBI plea, mocking at the agency for it failure to locate the registered office address of Advantage Strategic in Kumbukkan Road in Chennai.

“For one year, the CBI cannot find the registered office. Anyone can Google about it. It is tragic as well as comic for me.”

Mehta countered Singhvi and said some documents had been shifted from the Chennai office location. The CBI raided the location on a tip off on March 7 and 8 and several documents were recovered, he said.

Singhvi said the CBI needed to rest its demand for extending the custody of his client on solid grounds. “You have no bonafide reason. It is a 10-year old case, documents cannot be changed, witnessed can be changed.”

It said it has a recorded statement of Indrani Mukherjea accusing Karti Chidambaram of demanding and receiving a bribe to get the FIPB clearance.

Karti Chidambaram was confronted with Indrani Mukherjea in Mumbai last week.

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