The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed Congress MP Karti Chidambaram to withdraw ₹10 crore which was deposited with the apex court registry as a condition for allowing him to travel abroad.
The top court had on February 14 allowed Karti, who is facing criminal cases being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI, to travel to the UK and France for attending a tennis tournament subject to the ₹10 crore deposit.
A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao took up his application through video conferencing and allowed him to withdraw the amount.
“We have heard learned counsel appearing for both sides. The instant application for withdrawal of the amount in question is allowed,” the bench said.
On February 14, the top court while taking note of the previous orders allowing Karti to travel abroad, had allowed him to travel to the United Kingdom and France between February 14 and March 1, 2020.
It had said that Karti will have to appear before the investigating authorities in connection with the investigation in INX Media Case and Aircel-Maxis case on such dates as may be fixed by the ED excluding the travelling period, and will cooperate with the investigating agencies in every manner.
It had warned that any absence of full cooperation on the dates of the investigation will be viewed very seriously by the Court and appropriate orders will be passed, if required.
The top court had imposed several conditions on Karti like he was to give an undertaking, flight details and date of arrivals and upon furnishing the undertaking he was to be handed over his passport, which is in custody of ED.
Karti was also asked by the top court, to not open or close any bank accounts overseas and shall not enter into any kind of property transactions.
On January 17, the top court had allowed the similar application of Karti allowing him to withdraw the ₹20 crore which was deposited with the apex court registry as a condition for allowing him to travel abroad.
The apex court had in January and May 2019 granted Karti permission to travel to foreign countries after depositing ₹10 crore each respectively with the registry.
The probe agency had earlier opposed Kartis plea seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused delay in completing the investigations.
The ED had earlier claimed that Karti has been “blatantly misusing” the liberty granted by the 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 the CBI including one which relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of ₹305 crore when his father P Chidambaram was the finance minister.