A Delhi court has allowed Congress leader Karti Chidambaram, an accused in the alleged Aircel-Maxis and INX Media scams, to travel to France and the UK from September 15 to 27.
Special Judge MK Nagpal granted the relief to Mr Chidambaram in four cases related to the alleged scams. The cases are being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
In an order passed on August 25, the judge said that the court’s directions will not come in the way of any further investigations underway in the matters.
In his plea, Mr Chidambaram claimed that he was invited to attend “a reputed international tennis tournament called St. Tropez Open to be held in St. Tropez, France, from September 18 to 24, and he has also then to travel to London, UK, to meet his daughter, who is working and residing there”.
The Congress leader submitted that he was also required to attend some meetings and business activities in London as his company Totus Tennis Limited, which is a co-organiser of ATP tournaments, was incorporated in the UK.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the CBI as well as the ED opposed Mr Chidambaram’s applications.
The documents enclosed with the applications do not justify the requirement of the physical presence of the applicant during the tournament in France and the proposed duration of his stay there, and also the need or urgency for the applicant to visit his daughter in the UK, the counsel submitted.
The counsel claimed non-cooperation on Mr Chidambaram’s part in the ongoing investigation in the money laundering case, adding that some fresh evidence has also surfaced to show that he has disposed of some shares of a company, beneficially owned or controlled by him, and has, thus, “destroyed the proceeds of crime”.
The court directed the accused to furnish a security deposit of Rs 1 crore by way of FDR or bank draft, and directed him to formalise his travel itinerary for the period and place it on record before leaving the country. It also asked for the details of the places or hotels where he would be staying and his contact numbers abroad.
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