Held on arrival for Rs 10 lakh

The CBI on Wednesday arrested Congress leader P. Chidambaram's son Karti at Chennai airport on his arrival from the UK on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 1.03.18
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Karti Chidambaram

New Delhi: The CBI on Wednesday arrested Congress leader P. Chidambaram's son Karti at Chennai airport on his arrival from the UK on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.

If the government wanted to divert attention as the Congress has alleged, the opposite seemed to have occurred with the place of arrest - the arrival lounge of an airport -triggering stark comparisons with the flight of Nirav Modi and his uncle who have been accused of cheating the state-run Punjab National Bank of over Rs 12,600 crore.

After his arrest, Karti, 46, was brought to Delhi and produced before a metropolitan magistrate. The court remanded Karti in the CBI's custody for one day. The agency had asked for 15 days for "sustained interrogation" to unearth the "total conspiracy".

On his way to the courtroom, Karti said: "It is absolutely political vendetta. I will be vindicated soon."

The FIR against Karti was registered by the CBI in May last year on the basis of "source" information. It said the media house INX Media had received Rs 305 crore in foreign direct investment although it had clearance to receive only Rs 4.62 crore, and that it approached Karti when the income-tax department launched a probe.

The FIR said Karti took a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to get clearance for the media house, then helmed by Peter Mukerjea and his now-estranged wife Indrani, for the entire amount in 2007 when his father was Union finance minister.

Asked why Karti has been arrested now since he has responded to summonses in the past and turned up for questioning several times, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said: "He was evasive in his replies and was not co-operating and gave incorrect statements with respect to the evidence collected by the CBI."

The Supreme Court had allowed Karti to travel to the UK for his daughter's admission to Cambridge University.