SC seeks CBI response to Karti's plea against lookout circular
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the CBI response to a plea by Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, against a lookout notice issued against him in a corruption case.
Karti Chidambaram told the apex court that he had appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation twice and sought dismissal of the lookout circular.
The top court had on August 18 directed Karti Chidambaram to appear before the CBI for questioning on August 23 in a matter relating to alleged irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007.
Seeking the CBI's response, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the agency to submit the material related to Karti Chidambaram's questioning.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the bench not to record in its order the direction to produce the material relating to Karti Chidambaram's questioning as he assured the court that they would place before it the material on the next hearing on September 11.
"Don't record. I will show you... I assure to place before you... don't record," Mehta told the bench.
Karti Chidambaram told the bench that he was questioned for eight hours on August 23 and for seven hours on August 28 and was asked about 100 questions.
Taking a jibe at the CBI over its claim that Karti Chidambram had bank accounts in various places including abroad, senior counsel Gopal Subramanium said the agency, during two days of questioning, did not ask him even one question about these accounts.
Seeking the dismissal of the lookout circular, he referred to an earlier Delhi High Court order that said that lookout circulars could be issued only against persons deliberately evading arrest or not appearing before the probe agencies.
Subramanium told the apex court that the lookout circular was issued in "rarest of rare cases" and the circular against his client "seriously encroaches on (his) fundamental rights".
The senior counsel said the subject matter of inquiry was not Karti Chidambram but his father and Congress leader P. Chidambram who was the Finance Minister when the FIPB clearance was given to INX Media in 2007.
He told the court that the entire matter relates to a listed company in which Karti Chidambram held 0.75% shares and the overseas property he bought in view of his daughter's education.
Karti Chidambaram, in his affidavit, told the court that "... I have also provided various documents to the CBI during the course of questioning (as requested by them). These documents include a list of bank accounts, a list of companies in which my family members and I are shareholders and directors and details of all the assets held by my family members and I".
Karti Chidambram said that while his questioning by the CBI was on, the agency was "giving the press the live updates on my questioning and had been falsely claiming that I was not cooperating with them".