The CBI Friday claimed in the Supreme Court that a lookout notice was issued against Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, to prevent him from travelling abroad as he was closing several of his foreign bank accounts. The apex court, which was hearing the matter relating to a corruption case against Karti, was informed by the agency that several issues have come out during the investigation and many others were expected to be revealed.
The CBI wanted to place the documents concerning its investigation in a sealed cover before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which was opposed by Karti’s counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal.
“What he did abroad is part of this sealed cover,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.
Sibal repeatedly protested the ASG’s submissions that the agency be allowed to place before it the documents in a sealed cover. The ASG took the opportunity to briefly submit about the contents of the documents enclosed in the cover.
“Let me say what is contained in the sealed cover. What he has done when he was abroad. He said (during interrogation) he has only one account abroad. But when he went abroad, he closed several bank accounts. I don’t want to say all this as it will embarrass him but I have been compelled,” he told the bench.
Sibal countered his submission and asked the ASG “did you ask a single question about the bank accounts and property?”
“They interrogated me (Karti), but not a single question was asked on this,” Sibal said, adding “if they can show any signature of Karti on any account, they can prosecute him under FEMA or blackmoney law”.
The case against Karti pertains to an FIR lodged by the CBI on May 15, alleging 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 his father was the Finance Minister during the then UPA regime.