New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to release for three more months the Rs 10 crore deposited by Karti Chidambaram with the apex court's registry for travelling abroad. A bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta said the amount will continue to remain in fixed deposit for another three months. Karti, who is facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, had deposited Rs 10 crore pursuant to the condition imposed by the apex court for travelling abroad.
The apex court had in May too dismissed his plea seeking return of the Rs 10 crore. Karti, who is the son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, had earlier claimed in court that he had taken the money on loan and was paying interest on it. On May 7, a bench headed by the CJI had allowed Karti to travel to the United Kingdom, the US, France, Germany and Spain in May and June this year.
The apex court had in January also granted Karti permission to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The court, on the Enforcement Directorate's request, had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return to India and cooperate with the investigation, and warned that if he did not do so it would "come down heavily" on him.
The probe agency had earlier opposed Karti's plea seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations. Karti was abroad for 51 days in the last 6 months, the probe agency had told the court earlier. The ED had earlier claimed that Karti has been "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted by court in allowing him to travel abroad and has been using the same to protract the investigation in the case.
Karti is facing several criminal cases being investigated by the ED and CBI including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.