The Supreme Court has allowed Karti Chidambaram, son of P Chidambaram, to travel abroad between 20-30 September. The Enforcement Directorate on Monday had informed the Supreme Court that Karti was has been "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted to him by the court for travel abroad, using it to protract investigations.
#SupremeCourt allows #KartiChidambaram to go abroad between Sep 20 and 30 despite strong objections by #EnforcementDirectorate. #ED has accused #Karti of taking refuge under the travel orders to delay probe in #Aircel-Maxis. @News18Courtroom
— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) September 18, 2018
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud fixed for Tuesday Karti's plea seeking its nod to travel to the United Kingdom.
Karti has been facing criminal cases being investigated by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
One of the cases relates to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.
The ED, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, has filed its response alleging that Karti, 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 said the liberty granted to him by the apex 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 also said: "The Petitioner/applicant (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 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 apex court had on 23 July allowed Karti to visit the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America from 23 to 31 July, 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 will have to surrender his passport with the ED when he returns from his visit.
The court had allowed Karti to travel abroad with certain conditions, including that he would not open or close any bank account abroad.
The CBI is probing how P Chidambaram, who was the finance minister in 2006, granted a FIPB approval to a foreign firm when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do it.
The senior Congress leader's role has come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.
--With PTI inputs
Updated Date: Sep 18, 2018 12:36 PM