The Supreme Court has granted Karti Chidambaram permission to travel abroad despite strong objections from the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Karti is being investigated by ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his involvement in multiple criminal cases, including the case related to his involvement in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving Rs 305-crore deal when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
Karti Chidambaram had earlier filed a plea before the apex court seeking permission to travel to the UK. The comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had set the plea hearing for Tuesday.
The ED, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, had submitted that Karti Chidambaram was ‘blatantly misusing’ the permission granted by the court to travel abroad, thereby escaping investigation.
According to reports, the ED also said the permission granted to him by the Supreme court is "blatantly and brazenly hampering, subverting, jeopardising and protracting" the investigation pending against him in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Karti Chidambaram is also an accused in the Aircel-Maxis case for his alleged involvement in securing FIPB clearance for the deal when his father was the Finance Minister. In June, the ED chargesheeted Karti Chidambaram for his involvement in the deal.
The chargesheet said that Maxis had invested USD 800 million (Rs 3,565.91 crore) as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The authority of Finance Minister to give approval for the FDI was limited to Rs 600 crore at that time and any investment above Rs 600 crore must go through the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA).
"In this case, FDI was projected as Rs 180 crore, which was the par value of the shares acquired by Global Communication Holding Services, a subsidiary of Maxis Communications, whereas the FDI was actually Rs 3,565.91 crore," the ED said.