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HC to pass order on Karti Chidambaram's travel plea on Feb 16

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The today claimed in the Madras High Court it has got leads on the "money trail" in an alleged corruption case against leading to the UK and other European nations and there was "real danger" that his visit there would result in tampering with "incriminating" evidence.

The made the submission while opposing a miscellaneous petition filed by Karti, son of former Union P Chidambaram, seeking permission to travel to the UK and this month and next month for his business activities.

The first bench comprising and Justice Abdul Quddhose, which heard for four hours the arguments by the for the and Karti Chidambaram, said it would pronounce its order on the on February 16.

Earlier, G Rajagopalan, appearing for the CBI, submitted that during the probe into the case, the agency got leads of money trail of the alleged offence reaching the shores of UK and other European nations.

"There is a real and present danger that his (Karti Chidambaram's) presence in the countries would result in tampering with incriminating evidence present against him," he contended.

The bench also adjourned to March 3 the main petition challenging the validity of two Look Out Circulars (LOCs) issued against in the case and directed the CBI to file its counter by February 25.

has filed the miscellaneous petition in compliance with a January 31 directive of the to approach the high court for relief.

He sought permission to travel to the UK and between February 15 and 28, and again between March 20 and 31.

He has been restrained from leaving with the issuance of the LOCs by the Bureau of Immigration and the Foreigner Regional Registration at the CBI's request last year.

The LOCs were earlier stayed by a bench of the high court on a petition by Karti Chidambaram. On a special leave petition filed by the CBI, the had stayed the single judge's order. On January 31, it had remanded the matter back to the high court.

When the matter came up for hearing today, senior Gopal Subramanium, representing Karti Chidambaram, contended that his client had already appeared before the CBI for inquiry and had assured cooperation with the probe.

This apart, the petitioner and his family were before the court and he was not a fugitive against whom LOCs could be issued, he said adding Karti Chidambaram had no intention to flee the country.

"There is no justification for the apprehension that he would not come back. He has his roots here. Why wont he come back?" he added.

The entire family had only one property abroad and it had clearly submitted before the apex court through an affidavit that if the CBI could point out one undisclosed property belonging to them, it was ready to transfer the same to the government, he said.

Opposing the arguments, Rajagopalan said: "He is seeking permission for a business trip. If it is for any emergency or medical reasons, the agency would not have objected to it.

"But when it comes to his private interest and interest of the probe, the latter prevails. Moreover, his business affair is the subject matter of the probe," he submitted.

Further, he argued that the lookout circular was valid only for three more months and probably the CBI would also complete the investigation by that time.

The petitioner could very well plan his travel after such time, the ASG said.

Rajagopalan also submitted that Karti Chidambaram returning to was not the primary issue.

"There is something more to it.... We could not understand the urgency in the trip, he can wait till the probe is completed," he said.

In his miscellaneous petition, Karti Chidambaram has submitted that the had earlier permitted him to travel to the UK in November last year after he appeared before the CBI in connection with the case.

He said his company was engaged in sports business and its market was the UK and

The petitioner said he has to attend meetings related to the business of Totus, including organising tennis tournaments and training budding talents, and hence travelling to the UK and has become imperative.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 20:55 IST