CBI tries to nix Karti's trip over fears of evidence tampering


In his affidavits filed on Monday, Karti contended that he had just one account in UK's Metro Bank, which was opened on June 1, 2016 and this foreign bank account has not received any "inward remittance" from anyone except his, his wife's and daughter's disclosed bank accounts in India. "I (Karti) am a politically exposed person and the bank closed that account, so I (Karti) went there to withdraw the money", Sibal said, adding that CBI had never questioned him about his foreign bank account.

Appearing for the junior Chidambaram, senior counsel Kapil Sibal said that his client had just one overseas account which was opened in 2016 in Britain's Metro Bank and that he had never held any bank account abroad prior to that, barring the time he was a student in the United States and Britain between 1989 and 1995. This was opened in June 2016, he also said.

The apex court has adjourned the matter for further hearing till Tuesday. It is because of my father's and my political affiliation I am being subject to such rigorous scrutiny.

The submission comes a few days after the CBI said that Karti had gone overseas to close his foreign accounts. We own only one asset overseas and this was acquired by transfer of funds through nationalised banks under RBI's liberalised remittance scheme.

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CBI had last month told the apex court that Karti was prevented from travelling overseas as he was allegedly closing several of his foreign bank accounts.

The CBI told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, had misrepresented before the court by stating in an affidavit that he and his family had only two bank accounts and a lone property overseas.

He said that the only banking activity he conducted during his visit to the United Kingdom, post registration of FIR by the CBI related to two accounts that were maintained by him with the Metro Bank, and subsequent access to banking facilities due to unilateral decision taken by the Metro Bank to close the accounts after complying with all statutory and KYC norms.

The case lodged by CBI in Delhi is related to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of nearly Rs 305 crore in 2007 when Karti's father was the Union Finance Minister.

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The probing agency has alleged that there were official records to show that Karti had tampered with evidence against him in the INX media case on his visits overseas.

The junior Chidambaram, who was represented by senior counsel Kapil Sibal, meanwhile, contested the CBI's claim that he has undisclosed overseas assets. "How are the bank accounts and properties related to the irregular grant of FIPB approval?"

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked Sibal, "Do you think your past conduct would not have any bearing on this case?"

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