The CBI informed the Supreme Court on Friday that former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, contrary to his claim that he had only one foreign bank account, had several such accounts which he tried to close during his last visit to the UK. He also shifted money to another foreign account.
“CBI had asked him about his foreign bank accounts. He’d replied that he had only one. But probe by the Financial Intelligence Unit revealed Karti, during his visit abroad, had closed five or six foreign bank accounts after transferring the monies,” additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud. Waving sealed envelopes purportedly containing details of Karti’s activities in the UK in June, Mehta added, “The documents we received a few days back during investigation makes it clear what happened during Karti Chidambaram’s last visit abroad. These documents reveal shocking facts.”
However, his attempt to submit the investigation report to the judges was obstructed by Karti’s counsel Kapil Sibal, who said the CBI could not pass on evidence unrelated to the issue being heard — validity of the lookout notice which debarred his client from going abroad.
“Are these purported evidence part of any investigation conducted pursuant to any FIR? The answer is clearly ‘no’. Karti is ready to face prosecution if the CBI lodges an FIR and submits the so-called evidence purportedly put inside these sealed envelopes. Otherwise, it is just vindictiveness to harass Karti aiming indirectly to trouble his father, mother and wife,” Sibal said, as he successfully thwarted the agency’s attempt to submit the envelope.
This drew sharp reaction from Mehta, who said, “Probably, he knows what I’m going to hand over to the court. He does not want the court to peruse these documents.”
The CBI had said the FIR was registered against Karti in Delhi and Madras HC had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain his petition challenging the it validity.