In Karti Chidambaram v. Enforcement Directorate case, MK Nagpal, a Special Judge, gave the politician interim relief from arrest and issued a notice to the law enforcement agency.
In a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over charges of money laundering in the allocation of Chinese visas, a Delhi court awarded Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Karti Chidambaram interim protection from arrest on Thursday.
On May 30, the matter will be heard once more.
According to Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail petition, he learned from media reports that the ED had filed an enforcement case information report (ECIR) against him based on a case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On May 14, a search and seizure probe was undertaken at the home of Karti’s father, former Union Minister P Chidambaram, and a CBI complaint was filed. Karti was accused of facilitating visas for 250 Chinese people in exchange for a bribe of 50,000 rupees.
“Applicant apprehends that the respondent ED will arrest him and curtail his liberty. The basis for the aforesaid apprehension is the manner and haste with which the ECIR appears to have been registered against the applicant, without there even being an allegation in the alleged scheduled offence that the applicant has received any illegal gratification/ proceeds of crime, which the applicant could have allegedly laundered.”The plea in ED’s case, therefore, contended,
Karti was ordered to join and cooperate with the CBI probe within 16 hours of his return to India by the Court on May 20.
According to the CBI’s FIR, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) transferred a sum of Rs 50 lakh to Bell Tools Limited (BTL), which then passed it on to S Bhaskararaman in exchange for Chinese visas.
During the search, however, Karti stated that nothing incriminating was discovered and no incriminating material was taken.
“The gist of the allegations in the subject FIR is that TSPL paid a sum of Rs 50 lakh by cheque to BTL, Mumbai and, in turn, the said BTL paid Rs 50 lakh by cash to S Bhaskararaman as gratification. There is no allegation that Bhaskararaman paid the whole or any part of Rs 50 lakh to the applicant. There is no specific allegation that either Bhaskararaman or the applicant influenced any public servant or paid any gratification to any public servant. In fact, no overt act concerning the transaction in question has been attributed to or alleged against the applicant,”ED plea argude
Karti Chidambaram was represented by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal and Advocates Arshdeep Singh Khurana and Akshat Gupta.