New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Madras High Court to adjudicate within two months the writ petition filed by Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram challenging the legality of a Look out Circular (LoC) issued to prevent him from going abroad.
A three-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said till the writ petition was disposed off by a Division Bench, its earlier interim order staying the High Court directions would remain in force. The High Court on August 10, 2017 stayed the LoC and allowed Karti to go abroad.
In a brief order, the bench said the High Court should decide all the issues raised in the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the CBI. It made clear that the court had not expressed any opinion on the merits of the SLP. The apex court had already permitted Karti Chidambaram to go abroad once pending investigation of the case filed against him.
The CBI registered an FIR against Karti and others on May 15, 2017 for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media for receiving overseas funds in 2007 when Karti's father was the Union finance minister. Karti did not appear before CBI in response to summons issued on June 15 and July 4, but instead moved the Madras High Court to quash the FIR.
On June 16, 2017 the CBI issued Look out Circular to prevent him from leaving India. On August 10, 2017 the High Court by an interim order stayed the LoC and allowed him to go abroad on August 16 and to return on August 31.
Besides Karti, his associates CBN Reddy, Ravi Viswanathan, Mohanan Rajesh and S Bhaskararaman had also got the interim relief in the High Court. The CBI filed the appeal in the apex court against this order to prevent Mr. Karti from going abroad....