Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, cannot travel abroad till September 11. The Supreme Court on Friday maintained its stay on a Madras High Court order that had suspended a look out circular issued against him. The CBI claimed that there were “good and cogent reasons” for it.
A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, however, asked the CBI to inform on September 11 about the progress of its investigation into an FIR registered on May 15, pertaining to the INX media company receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore after FIPB’s approval during tenure of Chidambaram as Finance Minister in 2007.
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Senior advocate Gopal Subramanian, representing Karti, that he has already appeared before the CBI here on the court’s direction for two days. “The court has to see if the look out circular issued by an executive order can be sustained in law following the SC judgement in Maneka Gandhi’s case,” he said.
In Maneka Gandhi’s case, the SC had held the right to travel and go outside the country was included in the fundamental right to personal liberty.
Subramanian also contested “statements” made in the court on last hearing that Karti had purchased properties all over the world and held bank accounts in several countries. He also reiterated his assertion that Karti had nothing to do with the FIPB clearance granted during his father’s tenure. He contended that none of the six-member committee that gave nob for overseas investment has been investigated by the CBI.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta repeated his charge and accused Karti of “jugglery of keeping several bank accounts and possessing properties in foreign countries”. He handed over a sealed envelope to the court, which, he claimed, contained reasons for putting restrictions on Karti’s travel abroad.
The court granted the CBI time to file a rejoinder to an affidavit filed by Karti and put the matter for consideration on September 11.