INX Media Case: Supreme Court Allows Karti Chidambaram To Travel Abroad
The Supreme Court today allowed Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, to travel to the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain with certain conditions, including that he would not open or close any bank accounts abroad.
Karti, facing probe by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI in cases including the one relating to FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister, has been allowed to go abroad from tomorrow till May 27.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud put a slew of conditions on Karti with a warning that any violation may attract adverse consequences.
The bench, which asked Karti to file an undertaking about his flight schedule and return date to India, said “he (Karti) shall not open or close any overseas bank account” and not enter into any property transaction abroad. If the undertaking is not filed before Karti leaves India with the court, then the “petitioner shall not be allowed to go abroad,” the bench added.
The bench has directed Karti to cooperate in the investigation and made it clear that the permission granted to him to go abroad shall not be used in any court of law for securing “statutory or regular bail in any other offence”.
Taking note of the submission of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the probe agencies, the bench asked Karti to furnish a copy of his undertaking to the counsel for the Enforcement Directorate. It also directed Karti, represented by Senior Advocate AM Singhvi, to return his passport to the probe agency when he comes back.
The CBI has lodged an FIR against Karti and others on May 15 last year alleging irregularities in the 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 Union finance minister.
Later, ED registered an Enforcement Case Information Report, which is equivalent to the FIR, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Karti and other accused named in the CBI complaint in May last year. The ED case pertained to laundering of ill-gotten money related of the INX Media case.
Besides Karti, other accused included the INX Media and its directors, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.