The CBI today claimed in the Supreme Court that it has more material to substantiate its charges against Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, in a graft case. During the brief hearing in the case which took place twice during the day before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the CBI said it was ready with a sealed envelope containing the documents to buttress its probe done so far. However, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Karti, said that the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, should not take on record the documents without the agency filing an affidavit in this regard.
The bench adjourned the matter for final hearing on September 22 on the appeal of the CBI challenging the Madras High Court order staying government’s look out circular against Karti Chidambaram. The FIR lodged by the CBI on May 15 had alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Finance Minister.
Sibal alleged that the CBI has been seeking adjournments in the case and a person cannot be interrogated in this manner. Earlier, he had alleged that all baseless allegations have been levelled against Karti and had challenged the CBI to bring out the details of any property which the Chidambarams cannot account for. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, had vehemently countered the submission and said the probe was at a very crucial stage and substantial information have been given to the court in a sealed cover.
On September 1, the CBI had told the apex court that there were “good, cogent” reasons for issuing look out circular against Karti. On August 18, the court had asked Karti to appear before the investigating officer at the CBI headquarters here for questioning in the case. The bench had given the probe agency the liberty to question Karti as many times it wanted. Before this, the apex court had said that Karti would not be allowed to leave India without subjecting himself to investigation in the case.
The court had then stayed the Madras High Court order putting on hold the LOC issued by the Centre against Karti.
The CBI had claimed that the FDI proposal of the media house, cleared by Chidambaram, was “fallacious”. The FIR was registered on May 15 before the special CBI judge here and the registration of the case was followed by searches at the residences and offices of Karti and his friends on May 16.