The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Congress Member of Parliament Karti Chidambaram to travel abroad by depositing Rs 2 crore with the court registry, Karti, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, is facing criminal cases that are being probed by the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). A bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, asked Chidambaram to submit details on the places to be visited and the place where he would stay.
Opposing the application, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju said earlier Chidambaram was earlier allowed to travel abroad, but with a deposit of Rs 10 crore.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for Chidambaram, said the condition was not justified for a member of Parliament and he would not run away anywhere. The apex court said the amount be deposited in a nationalised bank and allowed Chidambaram to travel for six months. Earlier, it had allowed him to travel to the UK, the US, France, Germany and Spain.
The Congress leader is facing several criminal cases related to the Aircel-Maxis deal and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to the INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father, P Chidambaram, was the Union finance minister. The cases are being probed by the ED and the CBI.
The ED had earlier claimed that Karti Chidambaram had been trying to protract the investigation by "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted by the court in allowing him to travel abroad.
In connection with the INX money laundering case, the CBI had even sought to conduct a narco analysis test on Karti in 2018. In connection with the same case, P Chiadambaram was also arrested by the officials in 2019. At that time Karti had accused the central agencies of playing into the hands of the ruling BJP. He had argued that if the agencies had any solid evidence against them, they should have filed chargesheets by then.