Good Reason for Lookout Notice Against Karti Chidambaram: CBI

Karti Chidambaram has been barred from travelling abroad till his hearing on 11 September.

2 min read
P Chidambaram and son Karti. 

The CBI on 1 September asserted in the Supreme Court that there was "good, cogent" reason for the lookout circulars against former Union minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram in connection with a case of alleged graft.

Karti has been barred from travelling abroad till 11 September, which is the date of the hearing, as decided by the SC. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took on record the documents placed by the CBI in a sealed cover in connection with the case.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, asked the CBI to respond to the affidavit filed by Karti in connection with his questioning by investigators before whom he had appeared on 23 and 28 August.

“Good, Cogent” Reason for Lookout Notice

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that there was “a good, cogent reason” for issuance of lookout circular against him (Karti).

He added:

It is not a simple case or that of one company but it involves jugglery of accounts and properties abroad.

Appearing for Karti, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium submitted on his behalf:

What is the subject matter of enquiry is not me but my father who happened to be the finance minister giving Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approvals to a company in 2007 and it is alleged that one of the conditions had been violated.

He added that not a single person of the six-member FIPB, who were secretary-level officers, had been examined in the case.

The Supreme Court on 14 August stayed the Madras High Court order, staying the Centre’s lookout circular against Karti Chidambaram and four others in a graft case.

The apex court also asked the Madras High Court to decide on Karti's plea seeking the quashing of an FIR in consonance with law. Questioning Karti for not joining the probe yet, the bench had observed, “How will any investigation in this country succeed if people don't join investigation.”

Chidambaram has been asked to refrain from travelling abroad while the probe is on.

The case is related to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds when Karti's father was the Union Finance Minister in 2007.

CBI had claimed that the FDI proposal of the media house was "fallacious", but Chidambaram had cleared it. The FIR dated 15 May was registered before the special CBI judge. It was followed by searches at Karti and his friends’ residences and offices on 16 May.

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