The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested Karti Chidambaram, in connection with the INX Media case. He was arrested for “not cooperating with investigations”.
The INX Media case
In March 2017, INX Media had approached the Chairman of FIPB seeking permission for issuing equity shares to three non-resident investors based in Mauritius through the foreign direct investment (FDI) route. This money, according to the FIR, was sought for creating and operating a number of television channels. The application to the FIPB also mentioned its intention to "make a downstream financial investment to the extent of 26 percent of the issued and outstanding equity share capital of INX News Private Limited".
A few months later, the FIPB board approved INX's proposal, specifically an FDI/NRI inflow of Rs 4.62 crore, but did not approve the proposed downstream investment. So the FIR primarily alleges that "INX Media deliberately and in violations of the conditions and approval" went ahead with the downstream investment and generated FDI exceeding Rs 305 crore in the company "by issuing shares to foreign investors at a premium of more than Rs 800 per share" between August 2007 and May 2008.
When the Income Tax department sought clarification on the above in February 2008, INX Media allegedly sought to wriggle out of the mess by offering kickbacks to Karti to leverage on his family name to scuttle the probe.
The CBI said that Karti had received funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case - during its searches at the homes and offices of junior Chidambaram, sleuths reportedly recovered vouchers for this amount issued in favour of Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, a firm "indirectly" owned by him. But some sections of the media are now reporting that there is new evidence that he had received a much fatter kickback.