‘I Worked On Recommendations Of IAS Officers,’ Chidambaram Shifts Blames During Questioning: Sources

“If there has been any irregularity, they should be knowing about it,” Chidambaram said during questioning, while shifting the blame to the IAS officers under him, sources in CBI claimed on Saturday.

‘I worked on Recommendations of IAS Officers,’ Chidambaram Shifts Blames During Questioning: sources
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials arrest Congress leader P Chidambaram. PTI Photo
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 24 Aug 2019 02:37 PM
New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidamabarm during his questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) blamed the IAS officers under him for the alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Union finance minister, sources in the investigative agency revealed on Saturday.

As per sources, Chidambaram said “FIPB division was under me, which had 7-8 IAS officers who all were very adept in their work. They used to look after the files I never had so much of time to go through all the files. I used to act on their recommendations.”

“If there has been any irregularity, they should be knowing about it,” he said.

It is now believed several IAS officers working under Chidambaram during his tenure may have to face action because of this statement by him. Some may even be summoned for questioning.

Meanwhile, Chidambaram had an emotional moment when he met his family on Friday. He said he is “enjoying the hospitality of the government.”

Violations in INX Media deal not brought to notice of FIPB: D Subbarao told ED

Former DEA secretary D Subbarao had told investigators probing the INX Media money laundering and corruption case that "violations" in the deal approving FDI for the company were not brought to the notice of the FIPB, reveal official records.

Other senior officials, who were responsible for the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) affairs at the time of this deal, had also said in their statements to probe agencies that violation of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules should have been referred to the RBI rather than being summarily approved.

The deal is being probed by the ED and the CBI on charges of alleged money laundering and corruption respectively. Former finance minister P Chidamabram has been arrested by the CBI in this case.

"The FIPB unit should have confirmed from the company if indeed downstream investment has been made in INX News Pvt Ltd," Subbarao, a 1972 batch IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, said in his statement to the ED.

If the fact of downstream had been confirmed, it constituted a violation of the FIPB guidelines, the FIPB unit should have reported the matter to FIPB for an appropriate decision," Subbarao, who served as the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India, had stated.

The secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs used to be the ex-officio chairman of the FIPB.

The FIPB was scrapped by the Modi government in 2017.

CBI reaches out to 5 countries seeking information

The Central Bureau of Investigation has sent Letters Rogatory (LRs) to five countries seeking information on the funds routed to them in connection with INX media case, sources said on Friday.

The investigative agency has sent letters to the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Bermuda, Switzerland and Singapore.

On August 20, the Delhi High Court rejected Chidambaram's anticipatory bail, following which the CBI issued a lookout circular against him. He was arrested by the agency later and was sent to its custody by a Delhi court till August 26.