Court grants ED permission to question Indrani Mukerjea in PMLA case
A special CBI court which is conducting the trial in the Sheena Bora murder on Friday allowed the Enforcement Directorate to question key accused Indrani Mukerjea in connection with a money laundering case against her
A special CBI court here which is conducting the trial in the Sheena Bora murder on Friday allowed the Enforcement Directorate to question key accused Indrani Mukerjea in connection with a money laundering case against her and others including Karti Chidambaram.
"It will not be proper to reject the ED application and it is allowed," said judge J C Jagdale. The agency can interrogate Indrani Mukerjea tomorrow and on December 6. In May, the ED registered the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and its directors Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, and others.
Indrani Mukerjea. File Pic/PTI
It sought the Mumbai court's permission to question Indrani Mukerjea, as she is in judicial custody in the Sheena Bora murder case. Peter Mukerjea and Indrani "allegedly siphoned off 90 million GBP (Great Britain Pounds) and this money is suspected to have gone to overseas countries through unauthorised route of hawala etc", the ED plea said. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) permitted INX Media to receive FDI for Rs 46.2 million, however, it received foreign investment totalling to Rs 3,053.6 million during August 2007 to May 2008, the ED said.
"Thus excess foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 3004.4 million beyond the disclosed and permitted foreign investment was received by INX media from three Mauritius-based foreign investors," the agency said. It is suspected that illicit funds generated by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea have been siphoned off to overseas unknown destinations and routed back in the UK and India through Mauritius-based foreign investors, the ED said. Rabin, Peter's son from an earlier marriage, was found to be handing funds of Peter and Indrani Mukerjea held in the form of bonds in New Zealand, the ED said. "Rabin... Peter and Indrani have laundered money and are involved in financial transactions in UK connected with illicit funds generated in India," the application said.
The ED also noted that the murder of Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea's daughter from earlier relationship, was suspected to be motivated by financial reasons. The CBI had earlier filed an FIR against Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas. It was alleged that Karti Chidambaram had received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board conditions to receive investment from Mauritius.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram had alleged that the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son. Sheena Bora's murder came to light in August 2015 after Mukerjeas' driver Shyamvar Rai, arrested in another case, spilled the beans.
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