Yesterday (Nov 9) the Supreme Court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a very pertinent question – “Why have you not interrogated Karti Chidambaram for the past two months?” This question came when the CBI objected to allowing Karti Chidambaram to go abroad on certain conditions for 4 to 5 days. The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta vehemently argued against it and said the the Court as well as CBI are helpless if Karti did not adhere to conditions when he reaches abroad, citing Karti’s earlier actions to close the secret accounts in London.
It is high time the Prime Minister intervened in this matter. It is a fact that there are still some senior officers in CBI appointed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) period with close ties to Chidambaram.
The apex court also asked the probe agency to apprise it for the reasons for not interrogating Karti if it decided not to call him at present. “You take instructions on allowing the respondent (Karti Chidambaram) to go abroad for 4-5 days and what conditions can be imposed on him,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked. The case is adjourned to November 16. The million dollar question is why the CBI is not pursuing with the interrogation of Karti Chidambaram in INX Media bribe case and the Aircel-Maxis case, both of which ultimately lead to father Chidambaram.
Here the fault in dealing Karti’s case totally lies with the CBI. The current case is related to the First Information Report (FIR) in the bribe that son Chidambaram accepted from INX Media for illegal Foreign Investment Proposal Board (FIPB) clearances when father Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. Worse Karti is yet to appear before the CBI even after the second summons in Aircel-Maxis scam. Karti gave a letter to CBI last month, claiming that he is intending to question the summons in Supreme Court and till then the agency should not take action!!!
Can anybody shoot such letters when investigating agency issues a summons? For the past one month, Karti has not filed any case against the CBI summons in the Aircel-Maxis scam. Why? Because Karti and his father Chidambaram are well aware that if they do so, their petition will come before the 2G Bench, where BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s petition lies. Hence these dilatory tactics.
Karti’s lawyers Kapil Sibal and Gopal Subramanium will try to drag the case as much as possible, where one can always see his parents Nalini and Chidambaram in attendance. The court has not yet intervened in the CBI probe and the matter is limited only to allowing Karti to travel overseas. And it must be noted that Karti was forced to appear before CBI when in the first hearing the then Chief Justice of India directed Karti to appear before CBI, insisting that only then the court will proceed on his petition.
It is high time the Prime Minister intervened in this matter. It is a fact that there are still some senior officers in CBI appointed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) period with close ties to Chidambaram. Because of them, the CBI’s move to issue a Look Out Circular was leaked and Karti approached a pliable bench of Madras High Court. The question then is why CBI is delaying the cases against Chidambaram and son caught with concrete evidence of illegalities and bribe-taking for FIPB clearances?
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