New Delhi, May 19: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday registered a money laundering case against former finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, who left for London two days after the raids by a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). His father P Chidambaram has termed the trip a “scheduled” one.
“Karti is travelling as per earlier travel plans. He will return after a few days. There is no ban on his travel,” P Chidambaram told PTI.
Karti, himself a Congress leader, left for London along with a friend, airport sources said. He flew by an international carrier, they added.
“It was a scheduled trip, not a sudden one. Tickets were bought long time ago. I will be back soon,” Karti had told CNN-News18.
The CBI had on Monday registered a case in connection with alleged irregularities in granting the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media, run by its directors Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea, in 2007 when P Chidambaram was the finance minister. The investigating agency had filed an FIR on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, receiving illegal gratification, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct.
The agency had on Tuesday conducted searches at multiple premises linked to Chidambaram and Karti in connection with the matter.
The FIR had alleged that invoices of approximately Rs 3.5 crore were raised in favour of INX group in the name of other companies in which Karti had substantial interests “directly or indirectly”. The agency has registered an FIR against Karti, his company Chess Management Services, the Mukerjeas (currently in jail on charges of murder their daughter Sheena Bora), INX Media, Advantage Strategic Consulting Services and its Director Padma Vishwanathan.
Karti had alleged “political vendetta” behind the searches and said no documents had been seized from during the raids, insisting he had done nothing wrong.
(With inputs from PTI)