The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son Karti to travel to the UK from September 20 to September 30.
Despite Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) objection that Karti has been “blatantly misusing” the liberty granted to him by the court, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud allowed his plea.
The ED had yesterday told the top court that Karti Chidambaram was using the liberty granted by the court to protract the investigation in the cases against him.
Karti Chidambaram has been facing criminal cases being investigated by the ED and the CBI.
One of the cases relates to FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.
The ED had said that Karti Chidambaram, 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.
The ED had said the liberty granted to him by the top court is “blatantly and brazenly hampering, subverting, jeopardising and protracting” the investigation pending against him in the Aircel Maxis Case, which the agency has to complete in six months.
The agency in its reply also said: “The petitioner (Karti) during this period of 6 months has remained unavailable for investigation for a total number of 51 days due to his foreign visits.”
The reply filed by Rajeev Sharma, Deputy Director of ED, said, “Whenever he was confronted with the documents, he showed his irritation, sometimes anger and then conveniently avoided to answer the questions on one pretext or the other.”
Karti Chidambaram has also failed to provide the documents required during investigations as per schedule and in the circumstances, an effective investigation can take place only during his custodial integration, the agency said.
The top court had on July 23 allowed Karti Chidambaram to visit the UK, France and the US from July 23 to 31, making it clear that he has to abide by the conditions imposed by it in an earlier similar order.
The bench had said that Karti Chidambaram will have to surrender his passport with the ED when he returns from his visit.
The court had allowed Karti Chidambaram to travel abroad with certain conditions, including that he would not open or close any bank account abroad.