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Above: Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram talks to his supporters during the CBI raids at his residence, in Chennai (file picture). Photo: UNI

The Supreme court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on Monday (November 20) allowed Karti Chdambaram, son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, to visit the UK between December 2 and 10 for his daughter’s admission, but reminded him that if he fails to return by the specified date, he will face contempt proceedings.

The bench had earlier pointed out that Karti had not applied for a pre-arrest bail till date even though an FIR was lodged by the CBI almost three months ago.

Karti has challenged the entire prosecution against him and that a petition for annulment of charges is pending before the Madras High Court. “Besides, it is a question of my fundamental right to travel. When can a right to travel be interfered with? My client is not a fugitive nor has he interfered with the administration of justice. He was in the High Court on July 21 when his petition was being heard,” said his counsel, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam.

The has been hearing an appeal moved by the CBI against a Madras HC order whereby the Lookout Circular issued against Karti on June 16 was stayed. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had appeared for the agency, as they pressed for restraining Karti from travelling abroad pending investigation.

On Monday the petitioner’s counsel said: “The legality of the Lookout Circular will be debated later. But now at least I should be allowed to go. I will leave on December 2 and will be back on December 10.”

At that the bench said: “If you don’t come back by the 10th then you will invite contempt.” The foreign travel was granted.

—India Legal Bureau

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