SC to decide on Karti's papers to travel

Won’t close foreign accounts let me go abroad Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram, on Wednesday infor-med the Supreme Court that he was no interested to go overseas on October 19 to admit his daughter in Cambridge University in the UK.

The court also allowed Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file an affidavit on behalf of the CBI, which contended that Karti could tamper with the evidence in his travel overseas.

"I categorically state once again that all my assets are lawfully acquired and are disclosed in all my statutory filings", he told the top court in an affidavit filed on Monday. Mr. Sibal said such documents, claiming to be about properties and bank accounts overseas, have no connection whatsoever with the FIR registered against an FIPB approval.

Addressing the CBI's allegation that Karti Chidambaram would use his foreign visit to close his accounts and tamper with evidence, Sibal told the court that he undertakes that during his visit overseas, he will not go to any bank.

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Karti also refuted the CBI's claim that he had 25 undisclosed bank accounts, adding that he only had one account in the UK's Metro Bank, which was opened in 2016 and has not received any remittance from anyone except him, his wife and daughter.

The probing agency has alleged that there were official records to show that Karti had tampered with evidence against him in the INX media case on his visits overseas.

In a brief order the court said in the course of hearing the ASG wanted to rely on certain documents in a sealed cover and this was opposed by Mr. Sibal, who argued that the documents relied on by CBI could not be examined if the copies are not given to the petitioner.

Meanwhile, the probe agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), demanded that the Supreme Court should first peruse the documents submitted by it in a sealed envelope regarding the case.

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"The transfers were affected under the LRS of the RBI through nationalised banks and were made by scrupulously following the law and rules of the country", Sibal told the court. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on November 1. "Therefore the aspersions made by the CBI are completely unjustified, and are evidently an attempt to tarnish my name and reputation in the public domain", apart from the Lookout Circular (LOC) issued to curtail fundamental right to travel aboard, Karti said, adding that the oral statements made by the CBI counsel "ostensibly linking these accounts in the United Kingdom to alleged transactions that occurred by certain entities named in the FIR is preposterous and defies logic".

Before this, the apex court had said that Mr Karti would not be allowed to leave India without subjecting himself to investigation in the case.

Mr Sibal also referred to a media report of February a year ago and said information about Mr Karti's alleged investments in foreign countries was leaked and these were now being projected as facts. Karti Chidambaram arguing through his counsel said that the CBI has claimed that he had properties all across the world.

The CBI's FIR, lodged on May 15, had alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds in 2007, when Karti's father was the Union Finance Minister.On October 4, the CBI had alleged in the SC that Karti had tampered with evidence relating to an alleged graft case against him during his visits abroad.

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