The Supreme Court on Monday allowed former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, who is facing a probe in a case of FIPB clearance to a media house, to travel to the United Kingdom “for the purpose of admitting his daughter” in a college there.
“…It is directed that the first respondent is permitted to go to United Kingdom for the purpose of admitting his daughter in the aforesaid college during December 1, 2017, to December 10, 2017, and he shall file an affidavit with regard to grant or non-grant of admission after his return before this court,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud ordered.
Karti had sought permission to travel to the UK for the purpose of admission of his daughter at Selwyn College, Cambridge.
The CBI, which had expressed “serious apprehension” that he may never return or may tamper with evidence if allowed to go abroad, told the bench that the court may allow him to travel for a limited period and for the limited purpose of his daughter’s admission, subject to the condition that he will not cite the order in any court of law to hinder the investigation and must also place on record the details of grant or non-grant of admission after his return. Failure to return must be treated as contempt of the court, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court.
The court said in the order that Karti “shall file an undertaking within three days indicating his flight details and that he will come back by December 10, 2017”.
It added “if the undertaking is not complied with” he “shall face such consequences as may be deemed fit and proper”.
Though the court initially ordered that his non-return would amount to contempt, this was dropped after senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karti, said he has agreed to furnish an undertaking and contempt action was a natural consequence and need not be mentioned in the order.
The order added that the court was allowing him to travel with the “consent” of the CBI and “therefore, does not reflect upon the legality or otherwise of the Look-Out Circular (LOC)”.
The top court had on November 9 asked the CBI to apprise it of its stand on allowing Karti’s request to go abroad.
The court is hearing the CBI’s appeal challenging the Madras High Court order staying the government’s LOC against Karti.