New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was on Wednesday questioned for over four hours by the CBI in connection with the INX Media corruption case.
After the questioning by a special CBI Economic Offences Wing team, the senior Congress leader reiterated that the FIR contains no allegations against him.
The Central Bureau of Investigation said Chidambaram appeared at its headquarters here around 11 a.m. and left around 4.50 p.m.
Chidambaram was questioned till 1.30 p.m., after which he was allowed to step out for lunch. The questioning resumed at 3.30 p.m. and continued till around 4.45 p.m.
After leaving the CBI headquarters, Chidambaram tweeted: “Appeared before the CBI. The FIR contains no allegations against me.
“Questions and answers were based on the files of FIPB. Hence, there was little to add to the record,” he said.
According to the agency officials, the former Minister was quizzed about his alleged role in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media in 2007.
The INX Media company was promoted by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, now in jail in connection with the murder of their daughter Sheena Bora.
A CBI official said the agency will analyse the Congress leader’s statement and, if required, he will be again asked to join the investigation.
The Congress leader was summoned by the agency officials under Section 41(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The CBI first issued the summons to Chidambaram on June 1, asking him to appear before it the next day, but he skipped questioning after the Delhi High Court on May 31 granted him interim protection against arrest till July 3 in the INX Media case.
According to the CBI officials, it has prepared a set of questions to seek clarifications from the former Minister pertaining to a money laundering case registered in 2017 against Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram.
The CBI had on May 15, 2017 filed an FIR, accusing Chidambaram, Karti and others of involvement in irregularities in giving INX Media the FIPB clearance to receive Rs 305 crore in foreign investment.
The CBI had on February 28 arrested Karti, accusing him of taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister. Later, he got bail.
The CBI initially alleged that Karti received Rs 10 lakh as bribe for facilitating the FIPB clearance but the figure was subsequently revised to about $1 million or Rs 6.5 crore at the current exchange rate.
On Tuesday, the former Minister was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for over five hours.