Karti moves SC, seeks release of Rs 10 cr deposit

Karti Chidambaram.

New Delhi, ┬áKarti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking release of Rs 10 crore, deposited with the court’s registry regarding his overseas travel.

Karti claimed he raised loans to deposit Rs 10 crore and was paying interest on it. His plea was mentioned before the Vacation Bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna. Karti’s counsel also informed the court that his client had returned to India.

The Bench refused to grant him any relief and instead asked his counsel to mention the matter before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

His counsel contended that the court’s registry had asked to produce a formal court order regarding the return of the money. “You mention it before the regular Bench,” the Vacation Bench said.

Earlier, a Bench headed by the CJI allowed Karti to travel to the UK, the US, France, Germany and Spain in May and June this year on a condition that he deposit Rs 10 crore with the Secretary General of the apex court. The court had said it would be returned to him upon his return to India.

A similar order was passed by the court in January regarding Karti’s overseas travel. The court had said it would “come down heavily”, if it comes across that he was not cooperating.

Karti is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Karti is facing proceedings in cases linked to Aircel-Maxis and money laundering. One of the cases includes the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for Rs 305 crore of foreign funds, when his father was the Finance Minister.

The ED had opposed Karti’s travel request. The court had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that upon his return, he will fully cooperate with the investigating agencies.

Karti had been out of India for 51 days in the last 6 months; the probe agency informed the top court.