February 07, 2019:
Almost a year after Indrani Mukerjea gave her “confessional statement” before a magistrate in connection with the INX Media case, she recently made an application to a court in Delhi seeking grant of pardon.
The Court in turn directed Indrani to appear before it to ascertain if her petition to turn approver was made under any pressure or duress, a mandatory requirement under the procedure.
On Thursday, Mukerjea is likely to appear before the Court in Delhi via video conferencing from Byculla Jail where she is currently lodged in connection with the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora. If Indrani’s petition is accepted by the Court, she will become a prosecution witness in the Case.
The CBI had filed a Corruption Case against Karti Chidambaram, Indrani her husband Peter Mukerjea and INX, some related companies and unknown officers of the Ministry of Finance.
The CBI had earlier told the Special Court that by virtue of the influence exercised by Karti, unknown officers of the Ministry of Finance abused their position and caused undue pecuniary advantage to INX Media, of which the Mukerjeas were former directors.
In May 2017, the Enforcement Directorate registered a Case against Indrani and Peter in a money laundering case allegedly involving Karti.
In Feb last year Indrani, in her statement alleged that paid over ₹ 3 crore in bribe to Karti. Last March the CBI arrested Karti based on the statements. Indrani repeated the allegation in a statement recorded before a magistrate under Sec 164 of CrPC. Karti was later granted bail.
Karti’s father, former Union Minister P Chidambaram has moved an anticipatory bail petition before the Delhi High Court in connection to the case.
The CBI has alleged that in March 2007, INX Media breached the condition on which it had been allowed by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal agency for granting approvals to companies to access foreign funds, to raise 46% equity through issue of shares.
Against the permission to raise ₹ 4.62 crore by issuing shares at face value, the company got in ₹ 305 crore by issuing shares at a premium. In addition, it also bypassed FIPB to make 26% downstream investment in INX News Private Limited.