CHENNAI: Karti (45), son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, has moved the Madras High Court, assailing a notice dated July 4 of CBI directing him to appear before it on July 21 with necessary documents relating to alleged misuse of power to protect INX Group, which had allegedly violated terms of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2008. Justice P Velmurugan before whom a writ petition from Karti came up for hearing on Friday, adjourned the matter till July 28.
According to petitioner, the Enforcement Directorate had stumbled upon a receipt for `10 lakh received as fee by the Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited for consultation work done for INX Media Private Limited, in 2008. Having failed in its attempt to unjustifiably implicate the petitioner in connection with the FIPB approval in the Aircel Maxis case, the ED clutched at this information and passed on the same to the CBI with a direction to it to register a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, with a mala fide intention, in July 2008.
It asked the CBI to link the receipt of Rs 10 lakh to the grant of FIPB approval dated May 18, 2017 to INX Media by filling up the missing links between the two independent events purely on the basis of irrelevant inferences, presumptions, surmises, conjectures and through riotous imagination and build up a case of corruption and cheating against the petitioner.
Having failed in its attempt to take action in the FIPB approval in the Aircel Maxis case in the absence of a predicate offence, the ED realised that it cannot issue summons to the petitioner even if an ECIR (Enforcement Case Investigation Report) is registered by ED. Hence, to continue its harassment of the petitioner and his father, the central government wanted to manufacture an offence and used the CBI as a tool to achieve its nefarious objectives and ensured the CBI filed an FIR for an alleged predicate offence.
Pursuant to this, the CBI registered an FIR before the Special Judge, CBI cases, Patiala House Courts in New Delhi. In the FIR, it was alleged that the petitioner had abused his position as the son of the then Finance Minister and influenced the FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry to prevent any punitive action against the INX Group for violating FIPB terms, petitioner contended.
Based on this, the CBI issued the summons on July 4 requiring the petitioner to appear before it on July 21 with necessary documents. When the matter came up before Justice Velmurugan, petitioner’s senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam submitted that it is settled principle of law that issuing summons to an accused and interrogating him would amount to violation of fundamental right guaranteed under Article 20(3) of Constitution.