New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by former Union Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti for an immediate refund of his deposit of Rs 10 crore, while telling the newly-elected Lok Sabha member to “pay attention” to his constituency.
Karti Chidambaram is facing proceedings in cases linked to Aircel-Maxis and money laundering. One of the cases includes the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for Rs 305 crore of foreign funds, when his father was the Finance Minister.
“Every time you go abroad you deposit Rs 10crore. Ok..we will refund Rs 10 crore but next time you go we will say deposit Rs 20 correct,” a Vacation Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told Karti.
Karti’s lawyer had approached the bench saying since he is back in India, the money deposited with the apex court registry should be refunded.
The court asked, “Why are you after Rs 10 crore deposited in the court?”
Karti Chidambaram had moved the apex court seeking the release of Rs 10 crore, deposited with the court’s registry regarding his overseas travel.
He claimed he raised loans to deposit Rs 10 crore and was paying interest on it. His plea was mentioned before the Vacation Bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna. Karti’s counsel also informed the court that his client had returned to India.
The bench refused to grant him any relief and instead asked his counsel to mention the matter before the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
His counsel contended that the court’s registry had asked to produce a formal court order regarding the return of the money. “You mention it before the regular Bench,” the Vacation Bench said.
Earlier, the bench headed by the CJI allowed Karti to travel to the UK, the US, France, Germany, and Spain in May and June this year on condition that he deposit Rs 10 crore with the Secretary-General of the apex court. The court had said it would be returned to him upon his return.
A similar order was passed by the court in January regarding Karti’s overseas travel. The court had said it would “come down heavily”, if it comes across that he was not cooperating.
Karti is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had opposed Karti’s travel request. The court had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that upon his return, he will fully cooperate with the investigating agencies.
Karti had been out of India for 51 days in the last six months; the probe agency informed the top court.