On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate raided Karti Chidambaram’s premises in Delhi and Chennai. The raids were done due to the ongoing INX Media money laundering case. The raids began at 7:30 A.M., at five separate locations in the two cities.
The ED has also issued fresh summons to Karti Chidambaram for the 16th of January. Earlier, Karti had failed to appear before the Court in connection with the money laundering case. In May last year, the ED registered a case against Karti and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
After being questioned, the Chidambarams have denied all the claims and charges against them. The Senior Congress Leader P. Chidambaram and father of Karti said, “There is no FIR concerning a scheduled crime by CBI or any agency. I anticipated they’ll search premises in Chennai again but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (in Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not.”
He further added, “They (ED officials) searched and found nothing but since they had to justify themselves they took papers of a statement made by govt in the Parliament, few years back. The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate under PMLA.”
Today, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he was not surprised by the vendetta unleashed against the Senior Congress Leader. He was quoted saying, “Everyday PM Modi and his Government use ED and CBI as captive puppets to seek revenge from the Opposition.”
In May 2017, the FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds. The funds amount to a whopping Rs. 305 crores in 2007 while P. Chidambaram was the acting Finance Minister.
The Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra along with Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud told Karti he was not allowed to leave India in September 2017.
In October, the CBI alleged Karti was behind tampering evidence related to a graft case against him during his travel abroad. Karti allegedly visited London in May, June and July 2017 and closed his bank accounts. Reports state Karti withdrew the money deposited in the accounts as well. Karti denied the claims and stated it was outrageous for the CBI to think he did not disclose his assets.
The raids conducted today were not the first, last year in December the ED conducted raids in Chennai and Kolkata in the money laundering probe.