Black money case: SC seeks response from Chidambaram's wife, son on I-T Dept plea; apex court refuses to stay Madras HC order

  • The issue relates to alleged non-disclosure of overseas assets and bank accounts held by Chidambaram's wife, son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi

  • In November last year, the Madras High Court had quashed criminal prosecution against Chidambaram's family members in a black money case

  • The department had also alleged that Karti had not disclosed an overseas bank account he holds with Metro Bank in the UK

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought responses from Congress leader P Chidambaram's wife Nalini and son Karti on an appeal of the Income-Tax Department against the Madras High Court order quashing criminal prosecution against them in an alleged black money case.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice, while issuing notices to the two, made clear it will not stay the Madras High Court's 2018 order quashing criminal prosecution against the Chidambarams.

 Black money case: SC seeks response from Chidambarams wife, son on I-T Dept plea; apex court refuses to stay Madras HC order

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

The issue relates to alleged non-disclosure of overseas assets and bank accounts held by Chidambaram's wife, son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi.

In November last year, the Madras High Court had quashed criminal prosecution against Chidambaram's family members in a black money case, holding that no such offence was made out against them, said a PTI report.

According to the I-T Department, the three had not disclosed a property they jointly owned in Cambridge in the UK worth Rs 5.37 crore in their returns which amounted to an offence under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) Act and Imposition of Tax Act.

When their petitions came up before a division bench of justices S Manikumar and Subramania Prasad, the judges said no case was made out and quashed the criminal prosecution.

The family members of the former union minister had filed writ petitions challenging the criminal prosecution.

The department had also alleged that Karti had not disclosed an overseas bank account he holds with Metro Bank in the UK and investments he had made in Nano Holdings LLC, USA.

He had also "failed" to disclose investments made by Chess Global Advisory, a company co-owned by him, which amounted to committing an offence under the Black Money Act, the department said in its complaint in the special court in May last year.

Contesting the prosecution order, the three had approached the high court. As a single judge bench refused any relief, they moved in appeal.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had in October last year listed in a charge sheet former union finance minister Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, accusing him of conspiring with foreign investors to clear their venture.

The nine accused in the case are alleged to have laundered Rs 1.16 crore they got in return for alleged illegal approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in March 2006 to the foreign investor Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius.

The investigating agencies have claimed that Chidambaram, who was then the finance minister, was not empowered to grant FIPB approval to the firm which, given the quantum of the proposed investment, should have been accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

Chidambaram and his son have both denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Apr 16, 2019 12:25:06 IST