INX Media case: Indrani Mukerjea calls Chidambaram's arrest 'good news'
Indrani Mukerjea, who co-founded INX Media along with her husband Peter, is "glad" former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been arrested. In case you are unaware, Chidambaram is accused of corruption in the INX Media case, and his arrest by CBI last week kicked up a political storm. On Thursday, outside a Mumbai court, Indrani welcomed the series of events. Here are more details.
Quick recap: Chidambaram is in custody, Congress stood by him
Chidambaram is currently in CBI custody and will stay there till August 30, Friday. The Congress stalwart is accused of facilitating illicit FDI to INX Media when he was FM. Both CBI and ED are probing the case, and Chidambaram's son Karti is currently out on bail in the same matter. It's important to note that Congress has termed Chidambaram's arrest a "political vendetta".
Indrani, a murder-accused, turned approver in INX Media case
Interestingly, Indrani is in prison for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora. In July, she turned approver in the case, and her statements helped agencies nail Chidambaram. Reportedly, the beleaguered businesswoman told CBI that Chidambaram "suggested" them to meet his son Karti for "help in business". When Karti met them at a hotel in Delhi, he allegedly asked for $1 million bribe.
Indrani's statement was thoroughly studied by investigative agencies
Indrani's statement, recorded in February 2018, gave CBI the much-needed breakthrough. Karti was arrested weeks after she spilled beans, but agencies couldn't "connect dots" instantly. "But things changed soon after we studied Mukerjea statement in which she shared a lot of information with us, details about the meeting with then Finance Minister in his office in the North Block," an official told IANS.
CBI believes it has a tight case
"After studying the statements of Mukerjea and then connecting it with the series of events... whether it's the FIPB clearance or giving work to Karti's companies after the meeting, a tight case was made," the unnamed CBI official had said.
However, Karti claimed he never met the Mukerjeas
Karti, on his part, has denied the allegations. When he came to Delhi after his father's arrest, the lawmaker from Sivaganga, said he never met the Mukerjeas. The only time he saw Indrani was when CBI took him to confront her, he claimed. "It is being done to tarnish the image of the Congress party and to silence the most vehement critic of this government," he said.