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CBI response sought by SC on sharing FIPB docs with Karti

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar, and Justice D Y Chandrachud also asked the agency if a Division Bench (two judges) be asked to examine the validity of its LoC

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Karti Chidambaram.  Illustration: Binay Sinha
Karti Chidambaram. Illustration: Binay Sinha

The Supreme on Wednesday asked the if it was ready to share with Karti Chidambaram, son of senior leader P Chidambaram, the documents the agency submitted to the in a sealed cover in the lookout circular case.

Karti Chidambram is facing a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged role in facilitating the 2007 Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for INX Media Ltd when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar, and Justice D Y Chandrachud also asked the agency if a Division Bench (two judges) be asked to examine the validity of its lookout circular against

Asking the to come back with its response on October 9, the said Karti Chidambram could move the designated for permission to travel abroad.

The court's directions came in the course of hearing of a challenge to a Madras High order that stayed its lookout circular against which the agency issued to ensure that he did not leave the country.

The top court, by its August 14 order, had restored the lookout circular by putting on hold the High order.

"You have to satisfy the on the evidence collected during the investigation in support of allegation of various wrongdoings by Karti Chidambaram," the told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, adding that everything should be on the strength of law and nothing else.

Mehta told the that had gone aboard twice -- in May and June -- and used his visits to tamper with evidence in the case.

Pointing to alleged involvement of in various wrongdoings, Mehta said: "These are not based on statements by people. These are based on contemporaneous official records."

"If he is permitted to go out of India, he will return.

He may return, I presume," Mehta said and then pointed to the FIR in the and said that an FIR was a starting point in any case.

As the Additional Solicitor General claimed that held several undisclosed assets, the latter's counsel Kapil Sibal asked him to show at least one such property.

Sibal told the that the case before it rests on a particular transaction wherein Advantage Strategic Consultant company was paid Rs 10 lakh allegedly for facilitating FIPB clearance to INX Media.

Sibal said that though his client was not even a shareholder in the company, he was projected as alleged beneficiary of the said payment.

Sibal said his client may be involved in alleged violation of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act or other laws, but evidence collected in those cases can't be brought before the in the matter relating to INX Media for sustaining the lookout circular.

When the questioned him on this count, Sibal said: "That is the problem of criminal law. A lookout circular is for a particular transaction. You can't justify that lookout circular on the strength of material the is producing now."

Justifying the continued operation of the lookout circular against Karti Chidambaram, the had on September 22 told the apex that he held several overseas accounts in which he had transferred money.

During the September 11 hearing, the agency indicated that Karti Chidambram had 25 offshore properties.

Karti Chidambram denied it and told the apex that the should disclose any of the overseas assets allegedly held by him or his family and seize them.

is alleged to have received Rs 3.5 crore from Mumbai-based INX media, now 9X Media, for helping it get FIPB clearance when it was run by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case.

The FIR in the case does not mention Chidambaram senior, though it said he cleared the FIPB approval for Rs 4.62 crore of Foreign Direct Investment in the firm at an FIPB meeting on May 18, 2007.



First Published: Wed, October 04 2017. 20:20 IST