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INX Media case probe: Karti confronted with Indrani

Both were brought face-to-face and questioned by the CBI team for about four hours

Mumbai: Karti Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Media case, was on Sunday brought to the Byculla prison in Mumbai and confronted with Indrani Mukerjea as part of the CBI’s probe into the matter, a senior official said.

Karti, the son of senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram, was brought to the jail in central Mumbai around 11.15am by a six-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the official said.

He said Karti and Mukerjea were brought face-to-face and questioned by the CBI team for about four hours.

Mukerjea, a former director of INX Media (P) Ltd, is lodged in the jail in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.

After the questioning, the CBI team left the prison along with Karti and headed towards the Mumbai airport.

While entering the prison, Karti waved at the media persons who had assembled outside the high security prison.

Karti and Mukerjea were questioned by the CBI as a part of its probe in the INX Media deal in which the former allegedly received kickbacks.

The doors of the prisons were shut and no other person from outside was allowed to enter the premises when the two were questioned, the official said.

The CBI team came out of the prison around 3.15pm and a smiling Karti waved again at the media persons while standing on the footboard of a car being used by the agency.

He was asked by the CBI officials to get down from the footboard before they left the jail premises.

Karti was arrested by the CBI on February 28 after a confessional statement was given by Mukerjea before a magistrate.

He was sent in a five-day CBI custody on March 1.

Karti, 46, was arrested at Chennai airport on his return from the United Kingdom, in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds worth about Rs3.05 billion in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister.

It is alleged that Karti had received funds to the tune of Rs1 million in the case, officials had earlier said.

The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered his arrest, was based on the statement of Mukerjea, who recorded it under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate on February 17.

The CBI alleged that Karti also received money from INX media to scuttle a tax probe. The firm was owned at the time by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and Indrani, who are currently in jail on charges of murdering Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.

The Enforcement Directorate has also registered a money laundering case.

The CBI and the ED had carried out a series of searches at the houses and offices owned by the Chidambarams. Karti Chidambaram was questioned several times by the ED.

A Delhi court had on March 1 allowed the custodial interrogation of Karti by the CBI for five days, saying there was a need to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media case and his presence would serve some important purposes connected with the investigation.

The court had said his CBI custody was necessary to confront him with documents and the co-accused, as well as to probe the role of others involved in the case.

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