After being quizzed by the ED in the Aircel-Maxis case on Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram faced day-long questioning by the CBI in the INX Media case on Wednesday. There was one crucial difference, however, as on this occasion, Chidambaram had been summoned and treated as an accused in the case. Chidambaram was summoned under section 41(A) which gives the police the right to issue a notice directing the person with a reasonable suspicion that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him.
As per top sources, the CBI had 25 questions prepared for him, all of which pertained to the irregularity in the FIPB approval that was granted to the Peter and Indrani Mujerkea-helmed company in 2007.
Twenty-two of the questions were asked before Chidambaram took a break for lunch, sources said, adding that he was probed about issues raised by FIPB board members whose statements had been recorded by the CBI over the last few months.
CBI sources have told Republic TV that the agency will file a chargesheet in the case soon, this despite Chidambaram maintaining that there is no wrongdoing on his part.
Tweeting about the interrogation, the former Finance minister said that the FIR had no allegations against him and that the questions were pertaining to the FIPB.
The INX Media case deals with alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the company for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 3.05 billion in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister. In May 2017, the CBI had registered an FIR in the matter and had alleged that Chidambaram's son Karti used his influence in the ministry to assist INX Media in seeking approval for an investment that had already been completed.
On May 31, 2018, after filing an anticipatory bail petition, Chidambaram was granted interim protection from arrest till July 3 in the INX Media case by the Delhi High Court.