The Supreme Court today asked the CBI to apprise it of its stand on November 16 on whether Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, can be conditionally allowed to go abroad for 4-5 days.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI, to seek instruction on the issue and apprise it next Thursday.
During the hearing, the bench perused the documents supplied by CBI in a sealed cover relating to materials found during the investigation conducted so far.
Karti Chidambram is facing a probe for his alleged role in facilitating the 2007 Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for INX Media Ltd when his father was the Union Finance Minister.
Last month, the apex court had said that it would decide whether the documents submitted by the CBI in a sealed cover could be relied upon in deciding the validity of the lookout circular issued against Karti Chidambaram.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, had asked the court to pass any order as the case with regard to the lookout circular has been lingering on for over three months now. Sibal argued that Karti Chidambaram has to go for a lecture at a British University on the 'rule of law in Pakistan' on November 10, but due to this case, his passport has been impounded.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, had opposed Sibal's arguments and said it was beyond his understanding as to how important the lecture on "Rule of Law in Pakistan" would be, adding Karti Chidambaram cannot be allowed to travel abroad pending investigation.
The CBI had earlier claimed that Karti Chidambaram had tampered with evidence relating to the case against him during his visits abroad in the months of May, June and July this year.
The top court is hearing a plea by the CBI challenging the Madras High Court order staying its lookout circular against Karti Chidambaram to ensure he does not leave the country. The top court by its August 14 order had restored the lookout circular by putting on hold the High Court order.
Karti Chidambaram is alleged to have received Rs 3.5 crore from Mumbai-based INX media, now 9X Media, for helping it get FIPB clearance when it was run by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, both accused in the Sheena Bora murder case. The FIR in the case does not mention Chidambaram senior, though it said he cleared the FIPB approval for Rs 4.62 crore of Foreign Direct Investment in the firm at an FIPB meeting on May 18, 2007.
With PTI Inputs