What is the INX Media Case & How is P Chidambaram Involved?

The INX Media case allegedly involving former finance minister P Chidambaram has reached the Supreme Court.

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Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram was arrested by CBI, in the INX Media case, on 21 August.

The investigating agency had detained him from his residence following which, late Wednesday evening, amidst high drama outside his residence, a team of CBI investigators took him to their headquarters. Almost an hour after that, the Congress leader was arrested.

The senior Congress leader was being chased by investigative agencies for nearly 24 hours in connection with corruption in the INX Media case. Early evening on 21 August, he appeared for a press conference at the Congress headquarters.

In his short address to the media, Chidambaram pointed out that he has not been named an accused in the case. But he said he has faith in the law "even if it is applied by an unequal hand" by the investigative agencies.


The INX Media case allegedly involving Chidambaram reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 21 August, with his plea against the Delhi High Court's order to be put before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to consider for urgent listing.

The drama unfolded on Tuesday, 20 August, when the Delhi HC cancelled his anticipatory bail plea and said the INX media matter is a "classic case of money laundering."

A team of CBI officers had also reached Chidambaram's residence on Tuesday, and now the Enforcement Directorate has issued a lookout notice against him.

P Chidambaram's businessman son Karti, along with Peter and Indrani Mukerjea are also implicated in the INX Media case. So what is it all about?



In 2007, INX Media, which was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, received a foreign investment of over Rs 300 crores. The firm needed clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

The FIPB, in a meeting in May 2007, recommended the proposal of INX Media. The FIPB norms allowed INX to receive only 4.62 crores, but INX violated the conditions and raised foreign direct investments by issuing shares to foreign investors.

In February 2008, the Income Tax Department questioned the transaction which was not in compliance with the policies and procedures of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) laws in India. The FIPB had also sought clarification.

This is where Karthi Chidambaram came in. He allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with the Mukerjeas and tried to unduly influence FIPB officials to avoid any punitive action.


How is P Chidambaram Involved?

In 2008, when his son was accused of influencing the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, P Chidambaram was the board’s Chairman. He was also the Union finance minister in the Manmohan Singh government.

An FIR filed in the case states:

INX Media had tried “to get the issue resolved amicably by influencing public servants of FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry by virtue of his (Karti) relationship with the then finance minister (P Chidambaram).”

Karti allegedly had a hand in getting the FIPB to overlook illegalities on part of INX Media company by using his father’s position in the government. The CBI alleges that he received money from the company for influencing the approvals and to manipulate a tax probe.

A company called Advantage Strategic Consulting, said to be "indirectly controlled" by Karti Chidambaram, got Rs 10 lakh from INX Media in July 2008, according to the ED probe.

The statements made by INX Media promoters Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea are also said to have helped the prosecution's case against Chidambaram.

Indrani Mukerjea reportedly told ED that Karti Chidambaram had asked for $1 million.

Meanwhile, the Chidambarams have denied all allegations, calling it 'political vendetta'.


The CBI registered an FIR on 15 May 2017 alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance granted to the media group during Chidambaram's tenure as finance minister. The ED lodged the money laundering case in this regard in 2018.

On 31 May 2018, P Chidambaram moved court, seeking interim protection from arrest, and was granted it on 25 July by Justice Sunil Gaur.

This was extended several times, up until 20 August 2019.

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