Karti Chidambaram misusing liberty to visit abroad: Enforcement Directorate to Supreme Court

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Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, has been blatantly misusing the liberty granted to him by the court for travel abroad, using it to protract investigations, Enforcement Directorate informed the Supreme Court in a response on Monday. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud fixed for Tuesday the plea of Karti seeking its nod to travel to the United Kingdom. Karti has been facing criminal cases being investigated by the ED and the CBI. One of the cases relates to FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister. ED, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, has filed its response alleging that Karti, who is also facing proceedings in cases like Aircel-Maxis and money laundering matters, 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. The ED said the liberty granted to him by the apex court is blatantly and brazenly hampering, subverting, jeopardising and protracting the investigation pending against him in the Aircel Maxis Case, which the agency has to complete in six months. The agency also said: The Petitioner\/applicant (Karti) during this period of 6 months has remained unavailable for investigation for a total number of 51 days due to his foreign visits. The reply filed by Rajeev Sharma, Deputy Director of ED, said: Whenever he was confronted with the documents, he showed his irritation, sometimes anger and then conveniently avoided to answer the questions on one pretext or the other. Karti has also failed to provide the documents required during investigations as per schedule and in the circumstances, an effective investigation can take place only during his custodial integration, the agency said. The apex court had on July 23 allowed Karti to visit the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America from July 23 to 31, making it clear that he has to abide by the conditions imposed by it in an earlier similar order. The bench had said that Karti will have to surrender his passport with the ED when he returns from his visit. The court had allowed Karti to travel abroad with certain conditions, including that he would not open or close any bank account abroad.