Global News

INX money laundering case: Karti approaches SC

INX money laundering case: Karti approaches SC

The ED said allowing Karti, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, to approach the high court in the money laundering case arising out of the INX Media graft case, would set a "bad precedent" for others.

Karti on Saturday pleaded for hearing his plea following the extension of police custody ordered by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court yesterday.

A High Court bench of Justices S. Muralidhar and I.S. Mehta, however, directed the businessman to cooperate in the investigation, appear before the ED whenever required and submit his passport. Karti was arrested by the CBI from Chennai Airport on February 28 in connection with the case.

However, the agency has secured Karti's extended custody for three more days on Friday, contending that the fresh leads and material evidence in the case requires further questioning of the accused.

The judge said that the bail application would be taken up for consideration on March 15 after Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to file the reply to the plea.

During a almost two-hour hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED and Karti's senior counsel Kapil Sibal, traded a volley of charges.

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It is further submitted that INX Media received overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305-crore in 2007 when Karti's father P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.

The ED opposed Sibal's contention that Karti should be allowed to withdraw the petition and approach the high court.

Directorate of Enforcement arrested Karti's chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman in the case under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). "What message we will be sending to others". "However, in the intervening night of March 6-7, he was shifted to a cell where guards were also present who kept on chatting and playing cards continuously while the light was kept switched on". "You can interrogate me (Karti) to your delight but there is no need for custody", the senior advocate said.

However, Singhvi said it was "astonishing" that they found the address of ASPL, which is the main accused firm in the matter, only two days ago but the case was 10 years old. "It is his constitutional right", Mehta said, adding that the court may quash the proceedings if it so wished, but it should not allow him to withdraw the petition.

He had moved toward the apex court looking for bearings to pronounce that the ED has no ward to direct any examination inconsequential to the assertions in the FIR held up by the CBI on May 15, 2017.


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