New Delhi: Hearing the petition filed Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, seeking permission to travel abroad, the Supreme Court on Wednesday told Karti appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for interrogation with respect to his role in the Aircel-Maxis deal and INX Media case on March 5, 6, 7 and 12.
In his plea, Karti had said that he wanted to travel to France, Spain, Germany and the United Kindom from February 21 to 28 and again from March 23 to 31. The Supreme Court directed him to deposit Rs 10 cr with the registry as one of the conditions for allowing him to go abroad.
His travels are reportedly in connection with international tennis tournaments organised by a company called ‘Totus Tennis Ltd’.
“You can go wherever you want to, you can do whatever you want, but don’t play around the law. If there is an iota of non-cooperation, we will come down heavily on you,” CJI Ranjan Gogoi is reported to have told Karti.
“You go wherever you want to go, between February 10 to 26, but you must cooperate with the investigation,” the bench said.
The bench added, “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 also asked Karti to file an undertaking that he would return and cooperate with the investigation.
Earlier this month, Ashok Chawla, chairman of National Stock Exchange (NSE) resigned from his post with immediate effect, hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation said that the Centre has granted sanction to prosecute him in the Aircel-Maxis case.
“Ashok Chawla has resigned as Public Interest Director/ Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) with immediate effect in the light of recent legal developments,” the NSE said in a statement.
The CBI had filed its charge-sheet last July but had been waiting for the government’s nod to start prosecution against the bureaucrats. The Ministry of Finance had given its approval to act against Chidambaram but similar permission was needed for the bureaucrats as well.