The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Karti Chidambaram's plea seeking return of his deposit of Rs 20 crore, which was deposited with the top court's Registry as security for traveling abroad. The matter will come up for hearing on Friday, January 17.
Karti had deposited Rs 10 crore on two separate occasions, in January and May 2019, when the court granted him permission to travel for tennis tournaments. The first permission was to travel during February-March and the second one was for May-June. Upon his return from the first trip, and after being granted permission (in early May) to go for the second one, Chidambaram moved the Supreme Court for a refund of his initial deposit of Rs 10 crore. He had stated that the amount had been obtained through a loan, on which interest is being paid. The matter had come before a vacation bench in May 2019, where the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi refused to treat the matter with urgency.
The Sivaganga MP is being investigated on charges of receiving foreign funds worth Rs 305 crore for Foreign Investment Policy Board (FIPB) clearances to INX Media during the time when P Chidambaram, his father, was the Union Finance Minister. While granting him bail , the Apex Court had restrained him from leaving country except with Court's permission. The Court's permission to travel abroad was conditional on making of the deposits.
Karti's lawyers submitted that on both occasions, he returned as promised on the previously promised dates and conformed with the court's order. It is further urged that the court had stated that the amount was deposited as surety, which is to be refunded upon return.