The INX Media case is related to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to media group INX Media receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 307 crore during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
In January 2008, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND) of the finance ministry had flagged a foreign direct investment (FDI) of over Rs 305 crore by three Mauritius-based companies in INX Media Pvt Ltd, then owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. The Income Tax department handed over the case to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which in 2010 registered a case against INX Media for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations.
How Karti Chidambaram came into the picture
Around six years later, while investigating a company associated with Karti Chidambaram, ED found documents linked to INX Media. The documents indicated payments were made to Karti’s said company by INX Media at the time the finance ministry granted it FIPB approval. After this, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance, and ED lodged a money laundering case in 2018.
What have Indrani Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea and Karti been charged with?
Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter, who co-founded INX Media in 2007, were charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram, whose father P Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time, to get foreign investments and evade punitive measures for not having the necessary FIPB approvals.
In March, 2018, Indrani Mukerjea told the CBI in a statement that a $1-million deal had been struck between Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas to secure FIPB approval in favour of INX Media.
In July 2019, Irani prayed for pardon in the case in exchange for full and true disclosure, which the Delhi high court agreed to.
Karti Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in February 2018 in connection with the INX Media case and then released on bail. The Enforcement Directorate has questioned Karti Chidambaram on several occasions in the INX Media case.
P Chidambaram was also questioned by the ED in December 2018 and January 2019.
The ED has attached properties worth Rs 54 crore belonging to Karti Chidambaram in connection with the case. The agency has also attached properties belonging to Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
On August 20, 2019, P Chidambaram's plea for anticipatory bail in the case was rejected by the Delhi High Court. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 from his residence in connection with the case. Since then, he has been under CBI custody. On September 5, the apex court will pass an order Chidambaram's plea challenging the issuance of non-bailable warrant against him and the subsequent remand orders for custodial interrogation issued by the trial court in the corruption case lodged by the CBI.