Before former union minister P Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in a dramatic manner last night after Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court rejected plea for protection against arrest, his son and daughter-in-law also had to face disappointments in Madras High Court. On Wednesday, the Madras High Court rejected a petition by Karti Chidambaram seeking an interim stay in an Income Tax case which was transferred to the special MP MLA court.
The relates to the non-disclosure of ₹1.35 crore received by Karti and his wife Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram in cash against the sale of land in Tamil Nadu. IT department alleges that against the sale of a 1.16 acre property in March 2015, only a cheque payment of ₹3.65 crore was disclosed, and receipt of ₹1.35 by cash was not disclosed by the Chidambaram family and consequently, income tax was not paid on this amount.
But Karti and his wife had denied the allegation, saying they didn’t receive any cash payment in the land deal. The case was being heard by a court of the metropolitan magistrate in Chennai. after Karti Chidambaram became an MP after the Lok Sabha elections this year, the metropolitan magistrate had transferred the case to the special court meant to hear cases of MPs and MLAs. It was done as per a circular issued by the Registrar General,
Karti Chidambaram had filed the petition in the Madras High Court challenging this move, saying as the deal in question happened in 2015 when he was not an MP, the case should not be transferred to the special court. He had requested that the case should be returned to the additional chief metropolitan magistrate Court II, economic offences, Egmore, and also sought an interim stay in the proceedings of the special court till the High Court hears his petition.
But the High Court refused to grant an interim stay on the transfer order yesterday, which means the special MP MLA court can go ahead with the case. The court adjourned the matter to August 30, for the High Court Registrar General to file a counter.
Special courts for trial of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs have been established in most of the states in the last one year, following a Supreme Court order in 2017. These special courts are meant for fast track trial of cases against MPs and MLAs, as in regular courts the cases get delayed due to the huge volume of cases handled by the courts.