New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today sought the response of Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman on the plea of Enforcement Directorate seeking cancellation of bail granted to him by a special court last month in connection with INX Media money laundering case.
Justice A K Pathak admitted the petition filed by ED special counsel Nitesh Rana challenging a special court’s March 13 order granting bail to Bhaskararaman, who was accused of assisting Karti, son of former union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, to manage his “ill-gotten wealth” in India and abroad.
Seeking cancellation of his bail, Rana argued that it was a serious crime and the special court had ignored the gravity of the offence committed by the chartered accountant.
“He committed a serious crime and has not cooperated with investigation. The investigation conducted so far shows deep involvement of the accused in committing the offence of money laundering and shielding other accused persons who are part of the deep- rooted conspiracy,” the ED said in its plea.
The high court issued notice to the accused and posted the matter for hearing on August 16.
Bhaskararaman was granted bail in the INX Media money laundering case on March 13 with a special court saying there were no specific allegations against him except that he aided Karti in committing the crime.
The sessions court, while granting the relief to Bhaskararaman who was arrested by the ED on February 16 from a five-star hotel here, had observed that the “personal liberty is of precious value” and “bail cannot be withheld as a punishment”.
He was given the relief on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and one surety of the same amount with bail conditions, including not to leave the country without permission and not to threaten any person acquainted with the facts of the case.
The CA was sent to jail on February 26 after his custodial interrogation by the ED.
Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister during the previous UPA regime.
The ED had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.
To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.