The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday attached assets worth Rs 54 crore belonging to Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in connection with the INX Media money laundering case. Assets in India, Spain and the United Kingdom were attached, the investigation agency added.
In India, the assets confiscated were in Kodaikanal and Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu, fixed deposits worth Rs 90 lakh in a Chennai bank and a flat in Delhi’s Jor Bagh. A cottage and house in Somerset and a tennis club in Barcelona, Spain, were also attached following a provisional order, the agency said.
The assets in the Chennai bank are in the name of Karti Chidambaram and a firm called Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited, the Enforcement Directorate said.
“A bizarre and outlandish ‘Provisional Attachment Order’ which is not based on law or facts but on crazy conjectures,” Karti Chidambaram wrote on Twitter. “This is meant only to grab ‘headlines’. The ‘order’ will not withstand judicial scrutiny, review, appeal. Will approach the appropriate legal forum.”
In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea. Karti Chidambaram’s company allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from INX Media – which had got clearance from the Foreign Exchange Promotion Board for Rs 4 crore in foreign funding, when in fact it had got Rs 305 crore in 2007. P Chidambaram was the finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the time.
The money was paid to Karti Chidambaram in return for help to get away without facing any punitive action, investigators have told the court. Karti Chidambaram has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the INX Media case. On September 28, the Delhi High Court extended the interim protection from arrest granted to P Chidambaram.