INX Media case: CBI confronts Chidambaram with former NITI Aayog CEO, another co-accused

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 26, 2019

Former finance minister P Chidambaram (file photo)   -  PTI

The CBI has confronted the arrested former finance minister P Chidambaram with former NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar in connection with the INX Media case, officials said on Monday.

A 1975-batch IAS officer of the Union Territory cadre, Khullar was the additional secretary in the Finance Ministry when developments related to the INX Media allegedly took place in the ministry, they said.

According to her Executive Record sheet, she was the Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs from April 11, 2007 to September 11, 2008. She was promoted as Special Secretary in the department and held the post from September 12, 2008 to November 2, 2008.

In January 2015, Khullar was appointed the first CEO of the NITI Aayog, which had replaced the Planning Commission.

She arrived at the CBI headquarters in the morning but the questioning could not be completed as the officials had to take Chidambaram to a special court, they said.

Asked for her response on her questioning, Khullar refused to comment.

“No comments,” she told PTI over phone.

CBI seeks sanction

The CBI has also sought sanction to prosecute her in the case which has been forwarded by the Central Vigilance Commission to the competent authorities this year.

The agency refused to confirm if the sanction has been granted by the government.

Meanwhile, the special court has extended the CBI custody of Chidambaram till August 30, they said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General K N Nataraj, representing the CBI, told the court there was sufficient ground for extension of Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation as he was confronted with a co-accused from August 23-26.

The confrontation with the co-accused is not complete, the prosecutors said, and placed before the court a file containing e-mail exchanges between the accused.

“We need five days of custody of Chidambaram as the confrontation with co-accused will continue to unearth larger conspiracy,” Mehta contended, without divulging the name of the co-accused in the court.

The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of ₹305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram’s tenure as the finance minister.

Published on August 26, 2019

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