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Tuesday 28 January 2020

Court comes to Karti’s relief: ED can’t proceed against him until 22 March

Karti is presently lodged in Tihar jail in connection with CBI's INX media corruption case relating to irregularities in the FIPB clearance given to the firm

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today extended the protection from arrest to Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case from 20 to 22 March.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta changed the date of hearing from 20 to 22 March after Karti’s counsel said that senior advocate Kapil Sibal will not be available on 20 March.

INC leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal is representing Karti in the matter.

The Enforcement Directorate counsel Vinod Diwakar said he has instructions from Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta that the ASG has no objection if the date of hearing is changed to 22 March.

To this, the bench said, “Since no objection has been expressed by the ED for changing the dates, the petition is fixed for hearing on 22 March.”

The high court had on 9 March directed the ED not to arrest or take any coercive action against Karti, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, till 20 March in the money laundering case.

Karti is presently lodged in Tihar jail in connection with CBI’s INX media corruption case relating to irregularities in the FIPB clearance given to the firm.

The ED has challenged in the Supreme Court the high court’s 9 March order granting interim protection to Karti and it is listed for hearing today (15 March).

The son of former Union minister for home and finance P Chidambaram faces a barrage of charges of misappropriation. Some of these cases are being heard in courts while the sections of the media have made the other allegations. Karti has also figured in Parliament debates, where MPs have accused him of various kinds of fraudulence.

  • Aircel-Maxis and Sequoia Capital case
  • In February 2017, Judge OP Saini quashed the Aircel-Maxis case
  • Vasan Eye Care scam
  • Benami companies overseas
  • Stashing India’s money in tax havens abroad
  • On 1 March 2016, the AIADMK had demanded action against Chidambaram Jr for his business activities
  • The ED has, in the past, asked the relevant authorities in the UK, the UAE, South Africa, the US, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, France, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the British Virgin Islands whether Karti held properties in their countries and whether he carried out transactions of Advantage, Sequoia, WestBridge and other firms
  • After his arrest earlier this month by the CBI, when he offered the excuse that the Madras High Court had allowed him to travel abroad, the court had actually stated that the issuance of the Look Out Circular the day after issuing a summons to him was unwarranted
  • In August 2017, Karti appeared before the CBI in connection with a case of FIPB approval of INX Media when his father was the Union finance minister

Ironically, Karti was also on the forefront of a campaign against corruption in elections, organised in the RK Nagar constituency of Chennai; several politicians had joined the campaign.

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