NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Monday refused to give any relief to Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and did not stay the lookout circular issued against him in the alleged irregularities over Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media.
Slating the case for further hearing on September 18, the three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra made it clear that Karti cannot travel abroad and said its direction staying the Madras High Court order on lookout circular will remain in force.Karti, who was represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, challenged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to disclose any assets held by him or his family and said, “My father, mother, wife, and myself are income tax payers. If the government or its agencies can tell we have these properties, we will execute decrees in their favour and the government can take their possession.”
The statement by Sibal came when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the CBI, handed over details of investigations in a sealed cover and said it had details of properties linked to Karti. “Karti owns 25 properties abroad,” Mehta said, adding that the information had surfaced during the course of Karti’s questioning by the agency.“The CBI is levelling reckless and wild allegations and that nothing had emerged during the course of Karti’s questioning,” Sibal responded.
He said the CBI could not place before the court the documents allegedly linked to his client without filing a separate FIR and could only produce documents relating to the case in respect of which a lookout notice was issued.However, Mehta informed the Bench that he would establish that the details of all the assets submitted in the sealed cover were linked to the matter under investigation and said, “What does this sealed cover contain? Possible transactions that have emerged in the investigation so far in foreign countries and on 25 foreign properties of Karti. I cannot go beyond this.”Sibal, however, termed them serious allegations and said they had nothing to do with the lookout circular.
CBI’s plea hearing
The court is hearing the CBI’s plea challenging the Madras High Court order staying the lookout notice against Karti and others. The High Court order was, in turn, stayed by the apex court.