The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday sought 14-day remand for Karti Chidambaram, citing lack of time for interrogation in connection with the INX Media money laundering case in a Delhi Court.
Additional Solicitor-General of India Tushar Mehta appearing for CBI said, “Interrogation has only taken place for a short time. He did appear for interrogation but remained evasive. Custodial interrogation is completely different.”
ASG Mehta argued that the CBI had proof of Advantage Strategic Consultancy Private Limited receiving kickbacks for favours to INX Media.
“There is clear evidence of links between Karti Chidambaram and various companies. We have emails and invoices indicating money was given to Advantage Strategic Consultancy Private Limited (ASCPL) in the time period when INX media received favours”, said CBI.
Arguing further, the CBI said the whole purpose of yesterday’s custody was defeated when after Karti’s medical examination; the doctor got him shifted to Cardiac Care Unit.
“It was surprising because Karti didn’t complain about anything. He was perfectly fine in morning but gave evasive answers when CBI questioned him”, the CBI added.
In defence, Karti’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi countered CBI’s demand for custodial interrogation by pointing out that the probe agency had not issued summons to his client yet.
“There is no ground for custodial interrogation. How can CBI claim non-cooperation when they haven’t issued the summons? All documents are in their possession,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Earlier in the day, Karti was presented before a Delhi Court where the CBI has sought an extension of his custody after Karti’s one-day custody expired.
Meanwhile, the Patiala House Court reserved its order on the bail petition of Karti’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 16.
Karti was arrested by CBI on Wednesday and thereafter sent to one-day police custody, as against 15 day-custody sought by the CBI.
In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a money laundering case against Karti for his role in facilitating clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)for INX Media Ltd and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea – both accused in the murder of Sheena Bora -and others.
Karti has been accused of illegally taking service charges for obtaining FIPB clearance to the INX Media for receiving funds from abroad worth Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the finance minister in the Congress-led UPA Government