The Enforcement Directorate on Friday arrested S Bhaskararaman, the chartered accountant of former Union minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram (pictured above), in connection with the INX Media money-laundering case, The New Indian Express reported.
Bhaskararaman was arrested from a five-star hotel in Delhi and then produced before Special Judge Sunil Rana of a Delhi court. The agency told the court that Bhaskararaman was not cooperating with the investigation, The Times of India reported. The judge accepted the ED’s plea, and remanded him to five days for custodial interrogation.
“During the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman, who is a qualified CA, has been assisting accused Karti Chidambaram to manage his huge ill-gotten wealth in India and abroad,” the agency later claimed.
In May 2017, the ED had filed a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors, which includes Indrani and Peter Mukerjea. Chidambaram’s company had allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from the company – which got a Foreign Exchange Promotion Board clearance for Rs 4 crore, but had actually received Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007. P Chidambaram was the finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at that time.
The money was reportedly paid to Karti Chidambaram in return for help getting out of the situation without facing any punitive action, the ED told the court.
Travel permission granted
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Friday granted conditional permission to Karti Chidambaram to travel to the United Kingdom and France this month for business purposes, though there is a lookout circular pending against him in connection with the INX Media case, The Hindu reported.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose said the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the case, had not been able to prove that Chidambaram’s trip overseas for a few days would scuttle their inquiry.
The CBI had issued the lookout notice against Chidambaram in July 2017, preventing him from travelling abroad without the agency’s permission. He had then approached the Madras High Court challenging the notice. The final hearing on the plea is scheduled on March 12.