The Supreme Court today directed the Madras High Court to decide within two months petitions pertaining to validity of look out circulars (LOC) against Karti Chidambaram, son of former union minister P Chidambaram, and others in a corruption case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had stayed the High Court's order of August 10 last year keeping at abeyance the LOCs issued on June 16 and July 28 last year against Karti and others in the case
The bench made it clear that its interim order shall continue till the matter is finally disposed of.
“The High Court is requested to dispose of these writ petitions within two months”, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.
“We are also making it clear that we are not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and the High Court shall deal with them independently”, the bench said.
Agreeing with the request of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who represents the CBI, the court also specified that the argument of the probe agency with regard to the fact that the Madras High Court has no territorial jurisdiction to deal with the LOC cases, shall be kept open for adjudication.
The bench also said the high court will deal with the application, if any, of the accused seeking permission to go abroad on merits.
The case against Karti and others relates to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti's father was the Union Finance Minister.
Later, the apex court considered the appeal of CBI and stayed the operation of the High Court order staying the LOC.
The Supreme Court, however, has kept to itself another batch of petitions pertaining to registration of FIR in the corruption case.
The top court was hearing pleas including the CBI's appeal challenging the Madras High Court order staying LOC against Karti Chidambaram.
The CBI had on September 1 last year said there were good, cogent reasons for issuing the LOC.
The apex court had also said that Karti would not be allowed to leave India without subjecting himself to probe in the case.
The court had then stayed the high court order putting on hold the LOC against Karti.