Indrani Mukerjea Seeks to Turn Approver in INX Media Case

The court will decide if Indrani Mukerjea has made the plea under fear, pressure or under the promise of any favour.

Published
India
3 min read
File image of Indrani Mukerjea. 
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Indrani Mukerjea, former director of INX Media and co-accused in an alleged corruption case, has sought to become an approver in the case, reported The Indian Express.

Indrani, who is facing charges of corruption alongside former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidamabram, recently moved Patiala House Court to sought grant of pardon in the case.

According to The Indian Express report, Indrani was directed by the court to be produced via video conferencing on Thursday, 7 February, as she continues to face trial in Byculla jail in Mumbai for murdering her daughter, Sheena Bora.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN DELHI HIGH COURT NOW?

Following her application to turn approver, the Delhi court will decide if Indrani has made the plea under fear, pressure or under the promise of any favour, The Indian Express report said. This will further entail response from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in order to decide if Indrani can be pardoned as an accused and made a prosecution witness.

WHAT HAS INDRANI ALLEGED?

In a statement given before a magistrate, Indrani had claimed that Karti had demanded $1 million from her and her husband, Peter Mukerjea – co-founder of INX media and a co-accused in the case.

Indrani had also claimed that the demand was made to swing approvals from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

ARREST OF KARTI CHIDAMBARAM

After Indrani’s alleged demand of a $1 million by Karti, he was arrested by the CBI in Delhi and taken to Mumbai for interrogation.

DELHI HC ALLOWS P CHIDAMBARAM TO PLACE DOCUMENTS

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 6 February, allowed Congress leader P Chidambaram to place some additional documents on record in his pending anticipatory bail plea in the INX Media case lodged by the CBI.

The former finance minister has sought to place on record the printouts of several news articles published on 3 February, which state that the Law Ministry has told the Centre that CBI can be granted sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in the case.

The Congress leader has sought anticipatory bail saying that he was called for questioning by the CBI only once in June 2018, and thhat he was not named as an accused in the FIR.

Justice Sunil Gaur allowed the application and said the additional documents are taken on record.

WHY CBI AND ED OPPOSE THE BAIL PLEA?

The CBI and ED have opposed the anticipatory bail plea and asserted that his custodial interrogation was required in the case as he was evasive in giving answers during questioning and they required his custodial interrogation, which will be qualitatively different.

The two probe agencies contended that Chidambaram, during whose tenure as finance minister the FIPB clearance was granted to a media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007, gave wrong answers and did not disclose the material which ought to be in his knowledge.

The CBI has been already granted approval by the Centre to prosecute Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case.

HOW IS P CHIDAMBARAM INVOLVED?

The senior Congress leader's role had come under the scanner of various investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

It was during his tenure as finance minister in the UPA-I government that clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) were given to the two ventures.

In the INX Media case, the CBI had registered an FIR on 15 May 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance. Thereafter, the ED had last year lodged the money laundering case in this regard.

A trial court here had also on 30 May 2018, directed the ED not to take coercive action against Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

He was also granted protection from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis case in which he and his son Karti are named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI. The interim protection has been extended from time to time.

Chidambaram's petition had said that though no summons had ever been served on him by the ED in this case, he had an apprehension of arrest in view of the summons issued to him by the CBI, which was investigating the scheduled offence.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI)

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