The CBI conducted raids in at least 14 locations in Chennai on Tuesday morning. The residence of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was also investigated by the department.
The investigation comes in connection to foreign investments received by INX Media, formerly owned by Peter Mukherjea.
The former Union minister has said there were no allegations against him. CBI is also investigating his son Karti Chidambaram’s residence and searches are underway in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram.
Chidambaram in a statement said,
“FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases. The five Secretaries who constitute the FIPB, the officials of the FIPB Secretariat and the competent authority in each case are the public officials. There is no allegation against any of them. There is no allegation against me.
Every case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the
FIPB consisting of five Secretaries of the Government of India.
The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of Opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs, and civil society organisations. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write.”
Speaking to the media, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said: “What have you been doing for three years? If there were serious charges, go ahead. If you have evidence, establish it. You are destroying reputations. The people of India are watching this. You are still trying to fish and find out.”
In April 2017, the Enforcement Directorate(ED) had issued a notice to Karti Chidambaram and a firm had purportedly linked to him for violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The violation is reportedly to the tune of Rs 45 crore.
The ED had then said it was also probing P Chidambaram for granting an FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis case.
To this, Chidambaram had responded, “The Enforcement Directorate has the habit of recycling allegations from time to time. Today’s press release by the ED is another example. The allegations in the press release are baseless, totally false and ridiculous.”