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The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, to travel abroad but only after depositing ₹10 crore with its registry. The apex court asked Mr. Karti to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on March 5, 6, 7 and 12 for questioning in connection with the INX Media and Aircel Maxis cases, saying “don’t play around with the law.” “You go wherever you want to go, between February 10 and 26 but you must cooperate with the investigation,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. “Please tell your clients that he will have to cooperate. You have not cooperated. We wanted to say a lot of things. We are not saying them right now,” the Bench said.

Besides asking Mr. Karti to deposit ₹10 crore with the Secretary General of the Supreme Court, the Bench also asked him to file an undertaking that he would return and cooperate with the investigation.

On Monday,  the court had turned down  his plea to travel abroad but had asked the ED to specify the dates on which he is required to appear for questioning. Accordingly, the ED had specified the dates on which he is wanted for questioning. The probe agency alleged that Karti was abroad for 51 days in last 6 months, leading to the delay in the investigations. Earlier, the ED had told the court that Karti Chidambaram, had been misusing the liberty granted to him by the court to travel abroad, using it to protract the investigations.

Karti is being investigated by the ED and the CBI in several cases, including the one relating to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister in the UPA regime.. Karti has sought permission to travel abroad from February 10 to 26 and again from March 23 to 31.

The Bench was hearing Karti’s plea seeking permission to travel to France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom for the next few months for international tennis tournaments organised by a company called ‘Totus Tennis Ltd’ having its registered office in the UK.

–India Legal Bureau

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