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CBI raids 14 residential properties owned by P Chidambaram and his son

CBI cites holes in 2007 FIPB nod to INX Media and its then directors, Indrani and Peter Mukherjea

BS Reporter & agencies  |  Chennai 

P Chidambaram
P Chidambaram accused the government of using the CBI to target his son in its bid to silence the former FM's voice and stop him from writing

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided as many as 14 residential premises owned by former Union Finance Minister and his son

The properties raided included those in Chennai and Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, and in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon.

The raids started on Tuesday morning at Karti Chidambaram's house and other places and went on for almost seven hours, after which the former finance minister's son was led by the officials to a nearby office.

Before boarding the car, Karti alleged that the raid was politically motivated and that the investigators were not able to lay their hands on any incriminating documents. He asserted his innocence saying he had not committed any mistake.

While there was no official statement from the till evening, agency reports said it had registered a case on Monday related to alleged irregularities in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance in 2007 to and its then directors, and alleged that the company had applied for foreign direct investment worth Rs 4.62 crore and had invested downstream into INX News Pvt Ltd, without approval. It also claimed that the company's promoters had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti to "wriggle out of the situation".

In a statement earlier during the day, said, "The government, using the 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 organizations. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write."

"approval is granted in hundreds of cases and the five secretaries who constitute the -- the officials of the Secretariat -- and the competent authority in each case are public officials. There is no allegation against any of them," he added.

In April, the had filed a status report in a sealed cover before the on the status of its investigation in a money laundering case related to the approval of the Aircel-Maxis deal, including the role of the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, according to reports.

Investigations under PMLA are going on in respect of an approval given to Aircel-Maxis by Chidambaram, involving foreign inflow of around Rs 3,500 crore. As per government policy and guidelines, the competent authority for any inflow above Rs 600 crore was CCEA (Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs).