CBI, ED reach Chidambaram's house, leave later

The six-member team reached Chidambarm's residence in Jor Bagh in the evening. After finding out that he was not there, the officials left. 

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday injected an element of drama into the INX Media case as the officials visited P Chidambaram's residence in the national capital, hours after the Delhi High Court rejected the former Finance Minister's anticipatory bail plea and the Supreme Court refused an urgent hearing following the order.

The officials of the CBI and ED reached Chidambaram's residence in Jor Bagh in the evening where they waited for some time but left later after finding out that he was not present there.

Apparently, Chidambaram was holding consultations with senior lawyers about the next course of action after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi refused urgent hearing on the plea against the High Court order at another location when the investigators reached his residence.

Investigators refused to spell out their strategy when enquired about whether Chidambaram will be arrested in the case in which investigating agencies have claimed that as Finance Minister, he gave clearance to INX Media's proposal without following proper procedure.

Chidambaram's son Karti was arrested by the CBI in February last year on charges of lobbying with Ministry of Finance officials for the foreign investment clearance of INX Media using his father's influence.

The influence of Karti

In the FIR registered on May 15, 2017, the CBI claimed that officials acted under the influence of Karti to grant FIPB clearance for foreign investment, which the firm had already acquired without any formal approval from the government.

It claimed INX Media stated in its records that an amount of Rs 10 lakh was given to ASCPL, which was "indirectly" controlled by Karti, for management consultancy charges towards an FIPB notification and clarification. The FIR also alleged that invoices of around Rs 3.5 crore were raised in the name of other companies in which Karti had substantial interests "directly or indirectly".

According to the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering angle in the case, Chidambaram had told then INX Media promoters Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea to "help the business" of Karti when they met him at his office in North Block in 2007 when he was finance minister.

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