New Delhi, October 18, 2019: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has today filed a chargesheet against 14 persons/private companies including a media company based at Mumbai; another news company based at Mumbai; then Director of a Chennai based private management services company; a management services company based at Chennai; another consulting company based at Chennai; then Section Officer, FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance; then Under Secretary, FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance; then OSD, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance; then Director, FIPB Unit, Ministry of Finance; then Joint Secretary (Foreign Trade), Department of Economic Affairs; then Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; a Chartered Accountant; then Director of a Mumbai based media company and then Finance Minister, Government of India in the Competent Court, New Delhi u/s 120-B r/w 420, 468, 471 of IPC and 9 & 13 (2) r/w 13 (1) (d) of PC Act 1988 and substantive offences thereof.
CBI had registered a case on 15.05.2017 on the allegations that a Mumbai based media company had received foreign investment to the tune of Rs.403.07 crore(approx) against the approved FDI amount of Rs.4.62 crore(approx) only. Further, this company had also illegally invested Rs. 40.91 crore(approx) in its sister concern (a news company also based at Mumbai) from the FDI amount received without approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in violation of provisions of FEMA.
During investigation, it was found that two then Directors of Mumbai based private media company allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with the then Finance Minister, his son( the then Director of management services company based at Chennai) and certain then public servants of FIPB Unit for getting the said issues settled without any penal action against them and thereby caused undue pecuniary advantage to the companies in terms of possible fiscal penalty under FEMA, which could have been upto three times of the total amount involved. It was also found that the said then Director of the management services company had allegedly floated a front company(a private consulting company based at Chennai) for receiving illegal pay offs in the guise of various consultancies, other fees and payments. The Mumbai based media company had also made an alleged payment of Rs.9.96 lakh(approx) into the account of the said front company(a consulting company) as illegal pay off without delivering any service. During investigation, one of the Directors of the said media company based at Mumbai turned approver and revealed the alleged role played by the then Finance Minister and his son in according approval to the FDI proposal in the Mumbai based media company and another news company also based at Mumbai, in lieu of alleged illegal gratification in India and through offshore payments.
LRs have been sent to Singapore, Mauritius, Bermuda, UK and Switzerland to investigate the alleged off-shore payments.