New Delhi: Unfazed by protests from former finance minister P Chidambaram that his son has been framed by the government, CBI is set to start probe against Karti Chidambaram in at least four more cases.
Sources said that ED had already referred four cases to CBI for probing the corruption angle, though they refrained from sharing details citing allegations of vendetta against agencies.
They said that all cases, like the one regarding INX Media, involves the role that Karti allegedly played, through companies linked to him, in swinging approvals to bring in foreign investment when his father held the charge of the finance ministry.
Sources in agencies alleged that they have “enough” evidence to establish their charge that Chidambaram’s son used different companies as front for influencing the decisions of FIPB, adding that Karti was the ” ultimate beneficiary” of the transactions involving Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited, the company booked by CBI on Monday.
When contacted by TOI for his response, Karti refused to comment. Sources said Karti’s connection to the ASCPL is borne out by the files recovered from the computer used by S Bhaskararaman, a chartered accountant who was a key figure in the operations of the company.
One of the documents showed that Bhaskararaman and directors of ASCPL — Mohananan Rajesh, Ravi Vishwanathan, Chinna Bala Nageswar Reddy and Smt Padma Bhaskararaman — signed their individual wills on June 19, 2013, in which they bequeathed all their shares, those of ASCPL as well as other entities, to Karti’s daughter Aditi Nalini Chidambaram.
All the four shareholders whom ED has accused of “taking care of all the business of activities of Karti” were raided by CBI on Tuesday. Among the documents forwarded by ED to CBI, one is about emails exchanged between Chidamabram’s son, ASCPL as well as others dealing with them. “The exchanges make it clear that Karti was the driving force at ASCPL,” said a source.
Emails include the conversations pertaining to investment by the overseas investors in the preferential share capital of M/s Vasan Health Care Pvt Ltd, another company allegedly linked to Karti, which has been under the scanner. “Let’s ensure that we close out the transaction before 27th October. If there are any issues, please flag me at once. Thanks. Karti”, Chidambaram’s son purportedly wrote in October 2010 to Ramakrishnan of M/s Spark Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd (SCAPL), an investment banking firm which provided consultancy to both Vasan Health and ASCPL. ASCPL was instrumental in selling Vasan’s 30000 shares for Rs 22.50 crore to a foreign investor.
In the email Karti purportedly sent in October 2010 to A M Arun (Director of Vasan), Ramakrishnan, Reddy and Bhaskararaman, he said: “I would like to thank you all for making the transaction go thru. I look forward to scaling greater heights with you all – Karti”.
The emails further reveal that Karti was handling other foreign investments as well while discussing investments by GIC and Sequoia Capital to Vasan. “How is the Vasan/GIC process?” Karti wrote to Ramakrishnan in November 2011, according to the complaint prepared by the ED.
“On course. Due diligence wrap up meetings have been happening yesterday and today. Meeting with GIC team on 15th and 16th as per plan. Best regards,” the ED complaint quotes Ramakrishnan as replying.
The documents suggest that it was after the successful conclusion of these transactions that ASCPL shareholders bequeathed their shares to Karti’s daughter.
“Thus, any income earned which although on the face value may indicate belonging to ASCPL but are for the ultimate benefit of the individuals in India including its shareholders, who have by a will bequeathed it to Karti Chidambaram, who appears to have organized the entire transactions and scheme of occurrences and things,” ED alleged in its investigation report.