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Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2019

‘Don’t Play With the Law’: SC Asks Karti Chidambaram

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KartiNEW DELHI : Stating that he has not cooperated with the investigating agencies so far, the Supreme Court on Wednesday cautioned Karti Chidambaram against “playing around with the law”.A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi made it clear to former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son that the court will not tolerate “even an iota of non-cooperation from him” in connection with the INX Media corruption case.
He warned him that the court will be “forced to take steps” if he does not cooperate with the probe agencies, investigating the Aircel-Maxis case. Karti Chidambaram is an accused in the case. “You can go wherever you want to, you can do whatever you want but don’t play around with the law. If there is an iota of non-cooperation, we will come down heavily,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told Karti Chidambaram.
“Don’t play around with law. You haven’t cooperated so far. Let us make it very clear that even an iota of non-cooperation won’t be tolerated. This court will come down heavily on you if you don’t cooperate,” remarked the CJI while taking up Karti’s plea to travel abroad between February and March.

The bench added: “We want to say a lot of things but we are exercising restraint. We will only tell you that you haven’t cooperated. Travel wherever you want, do whatever you want to do but we won’t tolerate your non-cooperation.” It then allowed Karti to travel abroad but recorded in its order that he will have to make himself available for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate on March 5, 6, 7 and 12. “Any non-compliance will be viewed seriously,” said the court.
The bench also directed Karti to deposit Rs 10 crore as security with the Secretary General of the court that would be returned to him after he returns. Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, submitted that Karti may travel to UK, Spain and France but he should be India for participating in the investigation on certain dates in March.
In its reply affidavit, ED had blames Karti for delaying the probe not just into INX Media case but also in the Aircel-Maxis matter due to his non-cooperation. It had cited that Karti travelled abroad for 51 days in last 6 months and he used permissions by the court as an excuse to deliberately causing delay in the investigations. Karti is currently out on bail in the INX Media case. The CBI and ED are investigating into alleged irregularities and corruption in the FIPB clearances to INX Media when his father was the finance minister.
The top court has directed Karti Chidambaram to be present before the Enforcement Directorate on March 5, 6, 7 and 12 for questioning. He also has to deposit Rs. 10 crore with the Supreme Court as a condition for traveling abroad. Karti Chidambaram had sought the Supreme Court’s permission to travel to the UK, Spain, Germany and France in February and March for a tennis tournament
During the earlier hearing last week, the top court had asked the Enforcement Directorate to specify the dates on which Karti would be required to appear for questioning in the Aircel Maxis case. (With Agency Inputs).

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