Tamil Nadu

‘Look Out Circular’ against Karti Chidambaram stayed

Karti Chidambaram speaks to the media after CBI searches at his house in Chennai on May 16, 2017.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the ‘Look Out Circular’ (LOC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration against Karti Chidambaram, saying that the issuance of the circular the day after issuing a summons to him was unwarranted.

“....when the respondents had issued a notice....on June 15, 2017, calling upon the petitioner to appear on June 29, 2017, the 1st respondent issued the impugned ‘Look Out Circular’ on the very next day i.e. on June 16, 2017, which according to this court is prima facie unwarranted,” said Justice M. Duraiswamy’s order.

The court also stayed the LOCs issued against C.B.N. Reddy, Ravi Visvanathan, Mohanan Rajesh and S. Bhaskararaman, who described themselves as friends of Mr. Karti, son of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, in their joint petition.

The CBI alleges that Mr. Reddy, Mr. Visvanathan and Mr. Rajesh were Directors of Advantage Strategic Consulting, which received kickbacks on behalf of Mr. Karti. These kickbacks, investigators allege, were paid by INX Media for obtaining clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

The interim stay came in response to two petitions asking for the quashing of the LOCs.

Mr. Karti was present in the court during hearings on Thursday along with his father. He has refuted all charges against him.

“The Centre has been pursuing a politically motivated vendetta against the petitioner’s family.... the issuance of the Look Out Circular is the latest in a series of concerted actions by the Central government’s agencies to damage the reputation of the petitioner and discredit the father of the petitioner,” said the petition.

The court found similarities between Mr. Karti’s prayer and the issues raised in the joint petition; both argue that the LOC was issued even as summons asking the accused to appear before the CBI was active.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 5:36:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-stays-lookout-notice-against-karti-chidambaram-four-others/article19466117.ece

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