Karti Chidambaram, facing criminal cases being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, moved the Supreme Court seeking return of Rs 10 crore which he had earlier deposited with the court’s registry for travelling abroad. He claims that he had taken the money on loan and was paying interest on it. The matter was mentioned before a vacation bench comprising
comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna which asked Karti’s counsel to mention the matter before the regular bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi later. Karti’s counsel told the bench that he had earlier deposited Rs 10 crore in the court registry for travelling abroad and since he has returned to India, the money should be returned by the registry.
“I (Karti) had taken a loan of Rs 10 crore. I am paying interest on it. I had returned to India,” the counsel said, adding, “I (Karti) was allowed to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore. I have returned back. The registry is saying that you give us a formal order of the court then only we will return the money.” After hearing the brief submissions of Karti’s counsel, the bench said,
“You mention it before the regular bench.” On May 7, a bench headed by the CJI had allowed Karti, son of former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, to travel to the United Kingdom, U.S., France, Germany and Spain in May and June this year.
“The applicant (Karti) shall make a deposit of Rs 10 crore only before the Secretary General of this Court, which will be returned to him after he comes back to the country,” the bench had said in its May 7 order. The apex court had in January also granted Karti permission to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The court, on the request of
ED, had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return to India and cooperate with the investigation. The court had said that it would “come down heavily” on Karti if he did not cooperate. The probe agency had earlier opposed the plea of Karti seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigation.
Karti was abroad for 51 days in the last six months, the probe agency had told the court earlier. The ED had earlier claimed that Karti, who is also facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, has been “blatantly misusing” the liberty granted by court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case.
Karti is facing several criminal cases being investigated by the ED and CBI including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.