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Don't play around with law, SC tells Karti; asks him to deposit Rs 10 cr for travelling abroad


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore as security but said it would "come down heavily" on him if he did not cooperate in the probe into INX Media and Aircel Maxis cases.
"Don't play around with the law," the apex court warned Karti.
Directing him to give an undertaking that he would abide by the conditions, the court asked Karti to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 5, 6, 7 and 12 for the questioning.
"You (Karti) can go wherever you want to, you can do whatever you want, but don't play around with the law. If there is an iota of non-cooperation, we will come down heavily," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
"You go wherever you want to go, between February 10 and 26 but you must cooperate with the investigation. You had not been cooperating with investigations. We have lot to say but would not say for now," said the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, said the agency would require Karti's presence on four dates in March for investigations in the cases and asked the apex court to impose conditions as done in past to ensure that he comes back to India.
The bench took note of the submissions and asked Karti to file an undertaking to that effect besides depositing Rs 10 crore as security with the Secretary General of the apex court which would be returned to him after he comes back to India.
When his lawyer referred to the issue of Rs 10 crore security, the CJI asked, "Do you want a zero to be added".
Karti has sought permission to travel abroad twice from February 10 to 26 and again from March 23 to 31.
He had sought the court's nod to travel to France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom for international tennis tournaments organised by 'Totus Tennis Ltd'.
The plea has said that Karti is associated with tennis as a "former player, current administrator and entrepreneur".
The probe agency had earlier opposed the plea of Karti seeking permission to travel abroad, and said that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations.
Karti was abroad for 51 days in last 6 months, the probe agency has said.
On September 18 last year it had allowed Karti to travel to the UK from September 20-30.
Karti is facing criminal cases which are being probed by the ED and the CBI.
One of the cases relates to the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.
The ED has said that Karti, who is also facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, has been "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted by court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 5:45 PM IST

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