NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the CBI to apprise it of its stand on allowing the request of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, to go abroad for a few days after going through the sealed report filed by the investigating agency.
Karti has been facing a lookout notice in a corruption case issued on June 16 this year for which he is being probed by the CBI. He has on several occasions sought the court’s permission to travel abroad.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud placed CBI’s probe report in a sealed envelope containing evidences collected against Karti.
Mehta told the bench that Karti had tampered with the evidences and closed bank accounts in foreign banks when he went abroad in June and July. However, the bench questioned CBI as to why Karti was not being interrogated by CBI on the basis of the new evidences it had collected and how much time it would need to complete the investigation against him.
ASG opposed the suggestion from the bench it was not necessary at this stage to call Karti for further investigation and said. “CBI can’t disclose line of its probe and the evidence collected by it at this stage. There is unusual vehemence on his part to go abroad.” “You take instructions on allowing Karti Chidambaram to go abroad for 4-5 days and what conditions can be imposed on him,” the bench said.
ASG further said that the apprehension arose from the past conduct of Karti who had in June-July during his visit abroad had closed his bank accounts. “The apprehensions are not on some unfounded reasons. There are proper evidence and materials in this regard,” the ASG said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karti said, “I don’t know what the judges are thinking after perusing the documents but can anyone tell me what wrong I did when I went abroad in June-July. There is not a single document which have my signature for closure of bank accounts.”
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, also appearing for Karti, said he was called for interrogation for two days and the questioning happened only two and half hours while for 14 hours he was kept waiting.
The bench slated the hearing for November 16 and asked the CBI counsel to seek instruction about their stand on allowing Karti to visit abroad for few days.
The CBI FIR, lodged on May 15, had alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of `305 crore in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Union Finance Minister.