CBI court reserves order on anticipatory bail plea of Karti


A CBI court on Monday reserved the order in the anticipatory bail application of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, his CA S Bhaskar Raman and one another accused in a money laundering case connected with the visa scam case.

Special CBI judge MK Nagpal reserved the order after hearing the arguments of the Defence counsel and prosecution Agency. The court will pronounce the order on June 3. The interim protection from arrest will continue till the next date.

The Enforcement Directorate has recently filed a money laundering case against him following a CBI case in the related matter.

Kapil Sibal, Arshdeep Singh and Prateek Chadda have appeared for Karti Chidambaram in the matter.

They argued that there is no material against the accused. No money laundering case is made out against the Karti Chidambaram. Still, they registered the ECIR. The accused has joined the investigation and cooperating in the same. Senior advocate Sibal argued that the alleged transaction is from 2011 and they registered the case after a lapse of a long time. They had all the emails but did not investigate all these years. There is the apprehension of the arrest. On the other hand, the value of the alleged transaction is Rs 50 lakh, which is less than one crore and in view of this fact, he should be granted bail.

On the other hand, ASG S V Raju submitted that the bail application is premature as there is no material we have in this case. We will investigate the case. Still, they have apprehension of arrest, why do they have so.

Tridip Pais appeared for S Bhaskar Raman and argued that his client is in CBI custody since 17 May. There is no case is made to arrest him in money laundering case as there is no material, as ED had submitted.

The ED has filed a case under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, taking cognisance of a recent FIR registered by the CBI in the case, said the officials.

It is alleged that Karti received illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh to illegally facilitate visas for 263 Chinese nationals’ to complete a power project in Punjab.

Karti ‘misused his influence’ in the Home Ministry in 2011 and ‘conspired’ with co-accused to devise a “back-door way to defeat the purpose of the ceiling” on work permits imposed by the Ministry, CBI has alleged. Karti’s father and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was Home Minister in 2011. P Chidambaram has not been named as an accused in the FIR.

Besides Karti, four others have been booked by the CBI. The four co-accused are Karti’s chartered accountant S. Bhaskararaman, Vikas Makharia, representative of Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd, a Mansa-based private company, and Bell Tools, Mumbai, have been named. The FIR also mentions “unknown public servants and private individuals” too. On May 17, CBI arrested S Bhaskarraman close in the alleged visa scam.

Meanwhile, Karti had issued a statement and claimed that he is neither directly nor indirectly involved in a visa case.