The counsel appearing on behalf of the Income Tax department had requested recusal of the Madras HC judge for the tax evasion case involving Congress Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi citing that the justice before being elevated to the position of Madras HC judge served as lawyer for Karti and his firm Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd.
As per a report in Swarajya, following the counsel’s request, Justice Anita Sumanth has agreed to request the Chief Justice of Madras High Court to assign a different judge for the tax evasion case that pertains to the alleged non-disclosure of Rs 1.35 crore received by Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi in cash for sale of land at Muttukadu.
Highlighting that Justice Sumanth had previously held a position in the former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s son’s law firm, advocate appearing for the Income Tax department requested Justice Sumanth to appoint some other judge on the case.
The Income Tax department’s counsel stated before to the HC judge Sumanth that the tax evasion case was initiated on the basis of the documents and electronic materials discovered during a search on the premise of Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, an organisation headed by Karti Chidambaram which was caught mired in various murky transactions.
Agreeing to the request made by the prosecutor, Justice Anitha Sumanth placed a request the Chief Justice to assign a new judge for the case.
After the special court in Chennai quashed the discharge petition in the tax evasion case, Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi had moved the Madras High Court. The duo had submitted that the transaction belongs to the period when Karti was not a member of Parliament and the trial should not be conducted under the special court set up to complete the trial in cases registered against MLAs/MPs.
The Income-tax department had filed a complaint before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court-II (Economic Offences) alleging that Karti had acquired Rs 6.38 crore in cash while his wife received Rs 1.35 crore in cash for the sale of land near Muttukadu. It also claimed that Karti’s mom Nalini Chidambaram received the payment in the form of a cheque. The Income Tax has slapped Karti with charges under sections 276c(1) and 277 of the IT Act.