NEW DELHI: In its chargesheet against former finance minister P Chidambaram, his son Karti, their chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman and others, the Enforcement Directorate has listed details of their investments that “multiplied” from Rs 6.5 crore allegedly received as gratification from INX Media, to Rs 65.9 crore in a matter of months.
A special court in Delhi took cognisance of the chargesheet on Wednesday, prima facie agreeing with the agency’s findings. Chidambaram and his son have been asked to be present in court on April 7 when charges will be framed. Chidambaram once again denied the ED’s charges, and said the summons were a routine court process.
“INX Media Pvt Ltd had made payments of Rs 6.5 crore, detected till date, to several shell companies of Karti P Chidambaram in India and outside India. The first illegal gratification of Rs 3 crore was made through Span Fibre and Satyam Fibre to ASCPL, Kriya and CBNPMC, the companies beneficially owned by Karti as part of P Chidambaram’s direction,” the chargesheet claimed.
The payments from INX Media were made during 2007-08. Out of the first instalment of the “illegal gratification”, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Limited (ASCPL), allegedly controlled by Karti, invested Rs 1.5 crore in purchasing 1.5 lakh shares of Vasan Health Care. Later, ASCPL sold 30,000 shares of Vasan Health Care to Sequoia (SCI-GIH) for Rs 22.2 crore, while another 36,245 shares were sold to Vasan Medical Hall for Rs 18.6 crore, the ED claimed.
Income from the two sales stood at Rs 40.8 crore. With more funds in its kitty, ASCPL bought shares of AGS Health Care for Rs 11 crore. These were sold for Rs 29.4 crore, generating a profit of Rs 18.4 crore, the ED claimed. Most of these transactions happened in a span of two years.
Together with the accrued income and two other instalments of “illegal gratification” from INX Media, the “proceeds of crime” of Karticontrolled shell firms reached Rs 65.9 crore, the ED claimed.
The chargesheet claimed that these proceeds were laundered by “investing in properties outside India” through a subsidiary, ASCSPL, raised in Singapore. With the proceeds of crime, the accused purchased Surridge Farm in London and Gava Club in Spain, the ED said.