The INX media scam for the first time came into daylight on May 15, 2017, when CBI registered an FIR citing irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media for receiving funds worth Rs. 305 crore from abroad. The Media Group, was then, run by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
Reportedly, Chidambaram’s son, Karti, who is Congress’ MP from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga, has been accused of receiving money from Mukerjeas to approve the funds which weren’t supposed to be approved. The hoax came into light when Enforcement Directorate (ED) was investigating a company linked to Karti. The ED had found documents related to INX Media in the computer of Karti’s CA Bhaskarraman.
According to the CBI, INX in 2017 was granted permission to inflow Rs 4.62 crore FDI from three Mauritian companies. However, the reports further press that INX brought in a larger amount of Rs. 305 cr through direct investment. After enough evidence was served, CBI registered a corruption case against both Karti and Chidambaram. ED, separately, registered a money laundering case.
Moreover, INX Media called in upon their woes when they went a step further – probably trusting Karti – and brought in downstream investment which FIPB had earlier rejected. For the inundated, The investment in the other Indian downstream company by an Indian company already having foreign investment is called downstream investment.
In May 2008, when FIPB sought an explanation from INX Media, they allegedly approached Karti who had reportedly requested the public servants at FIPB – thanks to his relationship with the then Finance Minister, P Chidambaram – to get the deal going.
According to the investigating agencies, money was transferred to companies that had links with Karti. Thereafter, CBI filed an FIR against Karti and a month later Foreigner Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) and Bureau of Immigration, both, issued look-out circular (LOC) against him.
Adding to Karti’s woes, Indrani Mukerjea in 2019 revealed that he had demanded $1 million to influence officers to approve the FDI amount of Rs. 305 Crore. Indirani further revealed that she and her husband also met the accused Chidambaram in 2008 who then appointed his son to ensure the FDI remittances were approved.
Acc. to ED, Karti purchased a Tennis club in Spain, Cottages in UK and several other properties in Indian with $1 million amount that he had asked Indrani to transfer to his overseas account.