The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Karti Chidambaram seeking the release of Rs 10 crore deposited by him earlier this year before travelling abroad.
Earlier in the month, the Supreme Court headed by vacation judges Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had declined to consider his plea seeking the release of Rs 10 crore security he deposited before travelling abroad. Refusing to consider his plea, the court asked Karti’s advocate to mention the petition before the bench headed by CJI Gogoi since there is no urgency in the matter.
The vacation bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose dismissed his plea. In a sharp note to the advocated representing the newly elected Member of Parliament, CJI Gogoi quipped, “Pay attention to your constituency.”
The apex court had on May 7 allowed Karti to travel to the United States, Spain and Germany this month and next month, asking him to deposit another Rs 10 crore as the security deposit. Karti was supposed to travel abroad for attending some tennis events. A bench comprising Chief Justice Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna gave its approval for his travel abroad with subject to compliance of conditions imposed earlier.
However, Karti who wished to travel in the months of May and June had requested the court to release the sum of Rs 10 crore deposited by him earlier since he has returned back in time in compliance with the court’s order. Karti had got the approval from the apex court earlier this year to travel abroad on the condition of depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The court had also asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return and cooperate with the investigation.
Karti Chidambaram is facing investigation in a number of cases including money laundering and having undisclosed foreign assets. He has been charged in cases like INX Media case and Aircel Maxis case and is facing probe from the central agencies. P Chidambaram has also been facing an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel Maxis case.
In 2007, INX Media, which was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjee had received a foreign investment of about Rs 305 crores. For that INX Media needed clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a first information report (FIR) in May 2017 against alleged violations in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media. P Chidambaram was then serving as the Union finance minister under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
Karti was arrested in February 2018 by the CBI in the INX Media case. CBI had accused him of receiving a bribe of Rs 3.5 crores from the Peter and Indrani Mukherjee owned INX Media Pvt Ltd. INX Media was later named as 9X. However, he was later granted bail.