The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to file the charge sheet in the INX media case. Top sources within the agency have indicated that in all likelihood the agency will file the charge sheet in the coming one week. This would only mean more trouble for former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram who was in the CBI custody for 15 days.
“Sanction for prosecution is expected in the next few days. Paperwork has already started,” said a CBI source. While in custody, P Chidambaram was asked around 450 questions. According to sources, he was questioned for more than 90 hours mostly related to FIPB clearances and mail exchanges of Karti Chidambaram with other co-accused. Chidambaram was confronted with five other persons including former additional secretary in the Finance Ministry Sindhushree Khullar and director Prabodh Saxena.
Chidambaram was not confronted with Subbarao who headed the FIPB and cleared the INX proposal. Sources have said the charge sheet will be filed against 10 accused, including few companies, which were allegedly involved in the INX media deal.
“The email exchanges of Karti Chidambaram with his close associates are damning in nature. The Enforcement Directorate has come across fresh evidence with regard to the money trail. Questioning of Chidambaram by ED would be very crucial,” said a source who is privy to the investigation.
The CBI has heavily relied on the statement given by Indrani Mukherjee. Indrani earlier turned an approver in this case. In her statement to CBI, she has alleged that she along with her husband Peter Mukherjee met P Chidambaram at the North Block. She alleged that P Chidambaram asked her to take care of his son Karti’s interest. Following this meeting, the FIPB approval was granted in the INX deal and kickback was routed to a company linked to Karti Chidambaram. According to sources in the agency, Chidambaram has refused that he met Peter and Indrani Mukherjea.
“Our case is related to the abuse of power. Money trail will be probed by ED,” said a CBI source.
The agency has found omissions of facts from the documents that have been recovered so far. CBI maintains that the investigation in the INX media case is complete. Chidambaram is currently lodged in Tihar jail.