The apex court in January and May 2019 had granted Karti Chidambaram permission to travel to foreign countries after depositing Rs 10 crore each respectively with the registry.
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Congress MP Karti Chidambaram to withdraw the Rs 20 crore which was deposited with the apex court registry as a condition for allowing him to travel abroad. The apex court in January and May 2019 had granted Karti Chidambaram permission to travel to foreign countries after depositing Rs 10 crore each respectively with the registry.
When the matter came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said there was no objection from the Enforcement Directorate to the plea seeking withdrawal of the amount since he has returned. Taking note of the submission, the bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said Karti can withdraw the said amount since he has already returned.
The condition was imposed by the apex court after the ED had opposed his plea for travel abroad. Karti has been facing ED cases in INX media and Aircel-Maxis matters. On May 7 last year, the top court had allowed Karti to travel to the United Kingdom, the US, France, Germany and Spain.
The court, on the ED’s request, had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return to India and cooperate with the investigation, and warned that if he did not do so it would “come down heavily” on him. The probe agency had earlier opposed Karti’s plea seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations.
The ED had earlier claimed that Karti has been “blatantly misusing” the liberty granted by the court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case. Karti is facing several criminal cases being investigated by the ED and CBI including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.