- The CBI justified in the Supreme Court the issuance of lookout circulars (LOCs) against Karti Chidambaram
- A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also took on record the documents placed by the CBI
- The bench asked the CBI to respond to the affidavit filed by Karti
- Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told there was “a good, cogent reason for issuance of lookout circular against him (Karti).
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday told the Supreme Court that it had good reasons to request for a lookout circular against Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram, in an alleged graft case.
The notice was issued in July by the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer, Bureau of Immigration following a request by the central probe agency.
The central agency has alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Finance Minister. It has accused Karti of influencing the deal.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that there was “a good, cogent reason for issuance of lookout circular against him (Karti). It is not a simple case or that of one company but it involves jugglery of accounts and properties abroad”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took on record the documents placed by the CBI in a sealed cover in connection with the case and allowed it to furnish other documentary proof about Karti’s alleged foreign accounts and properties abroad.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the CBI to respond to the affidavit filed by Karti in connection with his questioning by investigators before whom he had appeared on August 23 and 28.
Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who is representing Karti, said the CBI was targeting the former finance minister Chidambaram through the case. While the agency has said that the approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for the 2007 deal violated the law, none of the officials of the six-member board have been questioned. Subramaniam said it was alleged that Karti had bank accounts at offshore destinations and “properties all over the Universe.”
The court also asked the CBI to file a rejoinder to the affidavit filed by Karti on his questioning and fixed the matter for hearing on September 11. The apex court also did not allow the plea of senior advocate Raju Ramchandran, representing co-accused Ravi Vishwanathan, that his client be allowed to travel abroad for the admission of his son.