The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a plea of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram seeking the return of ₹10 crore that he had deposited with the court’s registry for travelling abroad.
Mr. Karti Chidambaram is facing criminal cases that are being probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) .
A vacation Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose, rejecting his plea, said, “Pay attention to your constituency.”
The Bench was hearing Mr. Karti’s plea in which he had sought return of ₹10 crore deposited earlier by him in the apex court’s registry, claiming he had taken the money on loan and was paying interest on it.
On May 7, a Bench headed by the CJI had allowed Mr. Karti, son of former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, to travel to the United Kingdom, U.S., France, Germany and Spain in May and June this year.
“The applicant [Karti] shall make a deposit of ₹10 crore only before the Secretary General of this Court, which will be returned to him after he comes back to the country,” the Bench had said in its May 7 order.
The apex court had in January also granted Mr. Karti permission to travel abroad after depositing ₹10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court.
The court, on the request of the ED, had earlier asked Mr. Karti to file an undertaking that he would return to India and cooperate with the investigation.
The court had said that it would “come down heavily” on Mr. Karti if he did not cooperate.
The probe agency had earlier opposed the plea of Mr. Karti seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations.
Mr. Karti was abroad for 51 days in the last 6 months, the probe agency had told the court earlier.
The ED had earlier claimed that Mr. Karti, who is also facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, has been “blatantly misusing” the liberty granted by court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case.
Mr. Karti is facing several criminal cases being investigated by the ED and the CBI, including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of ₹305 crore when his father was the Finance Minister.