Tamil Nadu

Karti Chidambaram’s discharge plea dismissed

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He allegedly received ₹6.38 crore and his wife ₹1.35 crore

The judge of the special court for cases related to elected MPs and MLAs in Chennai has dismissed a discharge petition filed by Congress Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi Chidambaram in a case relating to the alleged non-disclosure of income for the financial year 2015-16 and evasion of tax.

Officials earlier alleged that Mr. Karti received ₹6.38 crore in cash, while his wife received ₹1.35 crore in cash during that financial year. The transaction came to light when Income Tax sleuths conducted inquiries with employees of Agni Estates Foundation, the firm which purchased land near Muttukadu, belonging to the Chidambaram family, according to sources.

Electronic evidence

On December 1, 2015, the Enforcement Directorate and I-T officials, during a search on the premises of Advantage and Chess Global and other places with which Mr. Karti was associated, seized electronic evidence, which purportedly contained evidence on the money transfer in the case.

The ED and I-T department had submitted the details to the court in December 2018 along with a printout of documents, which the court reviewed recently.

Judge D. Lingeswaran rejected the plea of the accused that hard drives could not be admitted as evidence. He noted that it is clear that the hard drives in question were seized from Chess Global Advisory Services, sealed properly and were under custody.

So far there is no reason to believe that the incriminating contents were voluntarily inserted by the officers who seized them, the judge said.

Notebooks as proof

Mr. Lingeswaran also said that the small notebooks seized from Agni Group showing alleged cash payments and the sworn statements of its officials, K. Narayanan and Jayaprakash, recorded by Rohan Raj, Deputy Director of Income Tax (Investigation), and the complainant could be considered as evidence.

The judge dismissed the discharge petition stating that there are adequate grounds to presume the accused had committed offences and directed them to appear on January 21.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:43:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/karti-chidambarams-discharge-plea-dismissed-by-court/article30507537.ece

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