The Enforcement Directorate (ED) tightened the noose on Karti Chidambaram on Monday by seeking his custodial interrogation in the Aircel-Maxis probe. In its
detailed petition in 2G Special Court, the ED charged Karti for being evasive in replying and repeatedly delaying to appear, citing that the interim protection granted by the trial court was totally misused by him. After hearing the arguments of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Karti’s advocates, the Special Judge O P Saini sought replies from Karti by September 18.
Detailing the 26-page petition on the various incidents of Karti’s evasive and aggressive nature during the questioning and delaying tactics, ASG Tushar Mehta argued that the agency must need the custodial interrogation of the former Finance Minister Chidambaram’s son. Mehta informed the trial judge O P Saini that Karti was totally misusing the interim protection and said that the agency is going to approach the Supreme Court for more time for completion of the probe. As per the Supreme Court, CBI and ED have to finish the probe by September 12. “We need his custodial interrogation. He is totally evasive to basic questions. He is not answering simple questions like is this email sent by him or not,” said Mehta, reiterating the point that Karti was stretching the privilege of the interim protection granted by Judge O P Saini.
In the petition, ED said that Karti is arguing his “right of silence” during questioning. “Though the accused (Karti) did appear at times when called for investigation, each time he hindered the completion of the investigation and used to leave mid-way while intimating that he would not be able to appear for about a week. The said modus operandi was essentially to consult lawyers and tailor made answers to questions asked on the earlier date of examination, thus not revealing complete facts and also delaying the investigation,” said ED demanding custodial interrogation of Karti.
“Whenever he was confronted with the documents, he showed his irritation, sometimes anger and then conveniently avoided to answer the questions on one pretext or the other,” said ED narrating the tantrums and tricks played by Karti due to interim protection from arrest granted by Judge O P Saini.
ASG Tushar Mehta told the trial judge that they are also intimating the 2G Bench of the Supreme Court about the hardships faced by the agency on this regard.