New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued a fresh summons to Karti Chidambaram, the son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in connection with its probe into the INX Media money laundering case.
Official sources said that in response to the agency’s second summons issued for today, Karti Chidambaram’s authorised representative appeared before the agency and replied to their queries.
As the agency needed further clarifications, the ED, in the fresh summons, has asked Karti Chidambaram to appear before it in person or through his authorised representative on January 18.
The first summons was for January 11 when Karti Chidambaram’s legal representatives appeared before the agency.
Last week, the ED searched the premises of Karti Chidambaram and those associated with him in a separate money laundering case pertaining to the Aircel-Maxis deal.
The central probe agency had registered a case against him and others in May last year.
It 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.
The ECIR was lodged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The sources said that the ED would probe the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated in this case.
It was the ED which had provided information about the alleged illegal payments made by INX Media, based on which the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed its FIR.
The CBI had also carried out searches at the homes and offices of Karti Chidambaram across four cities for allegedly receiving money from the media firm owned by the Mukerjeas to scuttle a tax probe.
The Chidambarams have denied all the charges made against them.
The CBI had filed the FIR against Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
The agency has alleged that Karti Chidambaram 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 has said it has 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 Chidambaram, the CBI had alleged.
Former finance minister P 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.
The FIPB approval was granted in “hundreds of cases”, the senior Congress leader had said.
The CBI FIR was made out against Karti Chidambaram, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder of their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its director Padma Vishwanathan.