CHENNAI: THE First Bench of the Madras High Court has issued notice to the authorities concerned on a writ petition from Karti, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, against whom the Bureau of Immigration has issued a look-out circular (LOC) to enable him to travel to England and France between February 15 and 28 and again between March 20 and 31.
The First Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose, before whom the petition from Karti came up for hearing on Wednesday, ordered the notice to the Bureau of Immigration, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Deputy Director General/Head of Branch, Economic Offences Unit-IV, EO-II, CBI head office and the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer, Bureau of Immigration, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Assistant Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Bureau of Immigration, Anna International Airport, returnable by February 12.
According to Karti, the Bureau of Immigration issued the LOC on June 16, 2017, on a request from the CBI in connection with an FIR. He said he had roots in the society and was a responsible citizen and a member of the All India Congress Committee. Hence, the question of fleeing the country would not arise. He had already challenged the validity of the LOC and this court granted an interim stay on its operation. The CBI had preferred a special leave petition and the Supreme Court had stayed the order of the single judge of this court.
The Supreme Court on August 18 last year directed him to appear before the investigating officer of the CBI and accordingly he appeared on August 23 and 28. Subsequently, he filed an application before the Supreme Court to permit him to travel to the UK in connection with the admission of his daughter in Cambridge University and the apex court on November 20 last year allowed him to travel.
He said he is the Director of Totus Tennis Ltd. Again, he filed an application seeking permission to travel to the UK and France. Before the SC could consider the application, it disposed of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) on January 31 this year ordering that the petitions challenging the LOC be decided by the Division Bench presided over by the Chief Justice of the Madras HC within two months.
Look out circular
The LOC has been issued on a plea from the CBI in connection with an FIR in a corruption case relating to alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds when Karti’s father was the Finance Minister