New Delhi, October 16
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested former Union finance minister P Chidambaram in Tihar Jail in connection with its probe in the INX Media money laundering case, officials said.
They said the ED investigating team followed procedure after a local court here on Tuesday allowed the central agency to interrogate the senior Congress leader, lodged in the jail, on Wednesday and arrest him, if necessary, in the case.
A three-member team of investigators of the central agency, who arrived at the prison at 8.15 am, were on the premises for about two hours during which they are understood to have briefly grilled 74-year-old Chidambaram after which he was placed under arrest.
The arrest has been made under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. The central agency would now move court to seek his fresh custody, they said.
The ED had filed a criminal case under the PMLA in 2017 to probe this deal of alleged irregularities in the grant of FIPB approval to INX Media group.
INX Media got its FIPB (foreign investment promotion board) approvals in 2007-08 when Chidambaram was serving as the Union finance minister.
It is alleged that this approval was not legal and agencies have charged Chidambaram with committing corruption and money laundering by taking kickbacks from promoters of the media group, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, through his son Karti.
The FIPB was scrapped by the Modi government in 2017. P Chidambaram has spent about 55 days in CBI and judicial custody till now after he was arrested on August 21 in this case. The ED had told the court on Tuesday that it required custodial interrogation of P Chidambaram in this case.
Chidambaram’s son Karti and wife Nalini were also seen on the jail premises in the morning. Karti is also an accused in this case and has been arrested in this case by the CBI in the past. PTI
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