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Karti Chidambaram goes to court to quash CBI FIR against him in INX Media kickbacks case

Karti Chidambaram alleges that the FIR against him is aimed at tarnishing his father, Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 17:59 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
INX Media,Karti Chidambaram,Congress
Karti Chidambaram is being investigated for a firm indirectly receiving funds from Mauritius for clearances given to INX Media in 2007.(HT File Photo)

The Madras high court on Friday took up a petition by former Union minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti to quash a CBI FIR against him, but posted the matter for further hearing on July 28.

Justice P Velumurugan declined to pass any orders on either Karti’s plea or the CBI’s submission that the high court did not have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the writ. Instead, he posted the matter for hearing the merits of the case on July 28.

Karti will not have to appear before the CBI until then.

An FIR was registered against Karti and INX Media along with eight others for alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to the media house for receiving foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007.

The probe agency had claimed that the FDI proposal of the media house was “fallacious” but the then finance minister Chidambaram had cleared it.

Karti claims that the FIR is aimed at damaging his father’s reputation, who is now an opposition leader and a member of the Rajya Sabha.

He further claims the FIR was not filed following due procedure as there is a 10-year delay from when the alleged crimes took place, and the FIR doesn’t explain the time lapse.

The CBI opposed the petition arguing it is not maintainable.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the CBI in court on Friday, contended that the summons had been issued well within the jurisdiction and investigating powers of the agency.

The CBI wanted the court to dismiss the plea on grounds of maintainability, he said.

Senior counsel Goal Subramaniam, representing Karti, submitted it was a settled principle of law that issuing summons to an accused and interrogating him would amount to violation of fundamental right guaranteed under Article 20(3) of the Constitution.

He said the article states that no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

Congress leader P Chidambaram had issued a strong statement in response to the FIR, saying that the government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son.

In May this year, the agency had conducted raids at the premises of Karti, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea at 14 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai in connection with the case.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 17:58 IST