New Delhi: A special court at the Rouse Avenue complex here on Monday summoned all the accused including former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media former director Peter Mukerjea and public servants in the INX Media case.
The court issued summons to the accused after taking cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case. P Chidambaram, who is lodged in Tihar jail, will also be produced before the court on October 24. His judicial custody is slated to end that day. The CBI had recently filed a charge sheet against fourteen accused, including P Chidambaram, Karti, his accountant S Bhaskaran, INX News, INX Media, its former director Peter Mukerjea, Chess Management Services Private Limited, Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited, and a handful of bureaucrats.
The bureaucrats who have been charged are Ajeet Kumar Dungdung, the then Section Officer, and Rabindra Prasad, the then Under Secretary and Prabodh Saxena, Director, FIPB unit of Finance Ministry, Pradeep Kumar Bagga, the then Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Anup K Pujari, the then Joint Secretary and Sindhushree Khullar, Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs. The accused have been charged for the criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and for taking gratification and criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
The investigating agency, earlier today, told the court that it has necessary sanctions to prosecute all the accused, including the public servants, in the case.
The CBI in its charge sheet revealed that Karti Chidambaram influenced public servants to extend favours to the INX Media and also used false invoices as a genuine document to demand an illegal gratification of Rs 10 lakh from the company.
The charge sheet also submitted that INX Media former directors -- Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea -- met P Chidambaram in his office in the North Block regarding the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media Private Limited and INX News Private Limited and during the meeting, the then Finance Minister demanded illegal gratification from them in the form of overseas payoffs for himself.
He also demanded that the business interest of his son Karti be taken care of in lieu of FIPB approval, the charge sheet stated.
It also submitted that the meeting between the three corroborated through the records relating to their [Indrani and Peter] stay in Hotel Oberoi and the taxi bill for the travel. The visitor's log of P Chidambaram's office, however, could not be made available as it was weeded out.It also mentioned that the Mukerjea duo and the legal head of INX Media, on the instructions of P Chidambaram, met Karti for a coffee at the hotel Hayat Regency in June 2008. In the meeting, Karti assured them that the "contentious issues would be resolved".
In August, earlier this year, P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Finance Minister.