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Sanction to prosecute P Chidambaram, former Niti Aayog CEO awaited for over 4 months: CVC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The sanction to prosecute former finance minister P Chidambaram and former Niti Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar for their alleged involvement in corruption is awaited from the Centre for more than four months, a latest data by the CVC said.

The requests seeking sanction to prosecute Chidambaram was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 22 this year, according to data updated till May 2019.

The probity watchdog said the sanction to prosecute a few bureaucrats is also pending with the Personnel Ministry, that acts as the nodal department for anti-corruption matters, for over four months.

The permission is awaited to prosecute Khullar and former secretary of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Anup K Pujari, for their alleged involvement in the corruption case, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) said.

Besides them, the anti-corruption watchdog is waiting for the government's approval to prosecute Prabodh Saxena, who is Principal Secretary in the Himachal Pradesh government, Rabindra Prasad, former undersecretary in the Department of Economic Affairs and Ajith Kumar Dung, former section officer and said to be working with the Union Health Ministry now as undersecretary in the INX Media corruption case, they said.

The case is related to the alleged irregularities in granting clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore.

Khullar served as additional secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs during 2004 and 2008. She was in 2015 appointed as the Niti Aayog CEO.

Pujari was the joint secretary during 2006 and 2010; Saxena served as the director of the department between 2008 and 2010, and Prasad also worked during the period under investigation.

The CVC, which is working without its regular chief, said it is awaiting sanction to prosecute over 100 government officials, mostly from banks, in 57 cases of alleged corruption for more than four months.

As per norms, sanction for prosecution has to be decided within four-month time.

An FIR was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds in 2007 when Chidambaram was the finance minister in the UPA government.

Senior Congress party leader Chidambaram is a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra.

INX Media was once owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea, prime suspects in this money laundering and corruption case.

Chidambaram's son Karti is also under probe by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding various clearances given to the company.

According to the investigating agencies, INX Media showed a transaction of Rs 10 lakh named against Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, a firm which is allegedly indirectly owned by Karti, as management consultancy charges towards an FIPB notification and clarification.

It has been alleged that Karti Chidambaram took money from INX Media and used his influence and power to manipulate a tax probe against the company regarding a case of violation of the FIPB conditions to get investments from Mauritius.

The CBI had registered an FIR against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea, INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its Director Padma Vishwanathan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 02 2019. 17:45 IST
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