The Supreme Court today refused to hear a petition by Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, seeking return of a security deposit of Rs 10 crore which he had paid to go abroad.
Karti Chidambaram, facing several criminal cases being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation over alleged money laundering, had asked for permission from the Supreme Court to fly to the US, Germany and Spain this month to attend meetings of a tennis association.
The court last week asked him to pay a second security deposit of Rs 10 crore – above a previous deposit of the same amount – if he wanted to go abroad.
In a fresh petition, he told the top court that he wanted the previous security deposit to be returned because he had taken the amount on loan and he was paying interest for it.
The Supreme Court, however, today said there was “no urgency” and the petition will be taken up by a regular bench. Karti’s lawyer sought the return of the money as per the conditions laid down by the court for allowing him to go abroad. The petition is now likely to be taken in July.
This was the second request Karti Chidambaram made this year to travel outside India. The top court had in January allowed him to go abroad after he deposited the security deposit with the secretary general of the Supreme Court.
Investigators have opposed Karti Chidambaram’s request to travel outside India and alleged that he has been “evasive”, “non-cooperative” and “causing delay in the probe”. He had been abroad for 51 days in the last six months, they said.
Karti Chidambaram and his father are accused of securing foreign investment worth crores when P Chidambaram was a union minister in the UPA government. The probe agencies are investigating the Foreign Investment Promotion Board giving clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds worth Rs 305 crore when P Chidambaram was the finance minister.
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