INX Media scam: Delhi HC to hear ED plea on cancelling bail of Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant in December

The Delhi High Court Friday said it will hear in December EDs plea seeking the cancellation of bail of Karti Chidambarams chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman in connection with INX Media money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate informed Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri that the Supreme Court has reserved its order for September 5 on former finance minister P Chidambarams petition challenging the Delhi High Courts decision to dismiss his anticipatory bail plea. Karti, his father P Chidambaram and Bhaskararaman are accused in the money laundering case. Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, representing ED, urged the court to take up the matter only after the apex court passes order on Chidambarams plea as it relates to the same case. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on December 5. The court had on April 10 last year sought response of Bhaskararaman on the EDs plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to him by a special court in March 2018, in connection with INX Media money laundering case. Chidambaram has challenged in the Supreme Court, the August 20 order of the high court dismissing his anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media cases lodged by the CBI and ED. He was arrested on August 21, and is currently in CBIs custody. The apex court is scheduled to pronounce on September 5, its order on Chidambarams plea in the ED case. In the high court, the ED has challenged the special courts March 13, 2018 order granting bail to Bhaskararaman, who was accused of assisting Karti to manage his ill-gotten wealth in India and abroad. He committed a serious crime and has not cooperated with investigation. The investigation conducted so far shows deep involvement of the accused in committing the offence of money laundering and shielding other accused persons who are part of the deep- rooted conspiracy, the ED said in its plea. Bhaskararaman was granted bail with the special court saying there were no specific allegations against him except that he aided Karti in committing the crime. The Sessions court, while granting the relief to Bhaskararaman who was arrested by the ED on February 16, 2018 from a five-star hotel here, had observed that the personal liberty is of precious value and bail cannot be withheld as a punishment. The CA was sent to jail on February 26 last year after his custodial interrogation by the ED. Kartis name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Boards (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader, Chidambaram, was the finance minister during the previous UPA regime. The ED had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore. To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged.