Chinese visa case: Karti Chidambaram calls ED probe 'fishing and roving' inquiry

01:31 PM Dec 16, 2023 | PTI |

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram has sought exemption from appearing before the ED on Saturday, on fresh summons issued to him in a money laundering case linked to issuance of visa to some Chinese nationals in 2011, stating that the probe was a ”fishing and roving” inquiry and that he required time to collect documents.


The federal agency had first asked the 52-year-old legislator from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu to depose before the investigating officer of the case on December 12 in Delhi. After the MP cited his engagement in the ongoing Parliament session, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) asked him to appear on December 16.

The 2022 ED case pertains to allegations of Rs 50 lakh being paid as kickbacks to Karti and his close associate S Bhaskararaman by a top executive of Vedanta group company Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd. (TSPL), which was setting up a power plant in Punjab, according to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR.

The money laundering case stems from the CBI complaint.

Karti, through his lawyer, has sent an around 100-page reply to the investigating officer of the case appending his election affidavit, Income Tax return, details of bank accounts and immovable assets while he sought exemption from appearance on Saturday as well as time to furnish all the documents sought by the agency.


It was not immediately known if the ED considered his plea.

Asserting that he was willing to appear before the agency and co-operate in the investigation, Karti’s lawyer said he had some contentions.

He told the ED that the latest summons do not disclose the allegations against the MP and whether he was called as an ”accused or witness” in the case.

The MP said in the letter that the information and documents sought from him are nothing but ”in the nature of a fishing and roving enquiry” and there was no reason to call for his and his family members’ personal financial matters in this probe.

Karti told the ED that in the ”spirit of cooperating with the investigation”, he has already submitted to the agency the documents and records sought in the past while information relating to his financial matters was available in the public domain through his election affidavit.

The MP cited that he submitted these documents as many as 19 times to the ED in the INX Media and Aircel-Maxis case between 2018-2019.

He claimed that the latest summons against him were issued ”mechanically” but despite that he will require time to submit the documents again as they are ”extremely voluminous in nature” and are available at his Chennai office and residence but he was in Delhi ”due to the ongoing winter session of Parliament”.

Karti, early this week, told PTI that the case was ”most bogus” and his legal team will take it forward.

The CBI had last year raided the premises of the Chidamabram family and arrested Bhaskararaman even as Karti was questioned by it.


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