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Karti Chidambaram booked for facilitating Chinese visas for illegal gratification; CBI raids underway

Fresh case against Karti has been filed for allegedly facilitating visa of 250 Chinese nationals after receiving illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh, officials said on Tuesday.

Abhay Parashar Reported by: Abhay Parashar @abhayparashar New Delhi Updated on: May 17, 2022 13:25 IST
Karti Chidambaram
Image Source : PTI

CBI raids several locations of Karti Chidambaram in connection with ongoing case

Highlights

  • Karti Chidambaram has been booked in a new case of alleged illegal gratification
  • He allegedly facilitated 250 Chinese visas after receiving illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh
  • He is already under probe in getting FIPB clearance for INX media

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday began coordinated search operations at nine locations in multiple cities in the country, including Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram’s residence in Chennai. The searches were being conducted at three locations in Chennai, three in Mumbai, one each in Karnataka, Punjab and Odisha, officials said. 

The investigation agency has booked Karti Chidambaram in a new case of alleged illegal gratification. 

The fresh case against Karti has been filed for allegedly facilitating visa of 250 Chinese nationals after receiving illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh, officials said on Tuesday.

"I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record," Karti tweeted without specifying.

In the new case which is off shoot of an ongoing probe, the CBI has alleged that Karti Chidambaram had received Rs 50 lakh alleged bribe to facilitate visa of 250 Chinese nationals during the UPA regime, the officials said.

He is already under probe in getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for INX media, they said. 

Earlier in 2011, the Home Ministry had cleared illegal visa use for Chinese nationals in return for Karti Chidambaram’s bribes, sources said. 

Talwandi Sabo Power Plant was in the process of establishing a 1980 MW Thermal Power plant at Mansa in Punjab. The establishment was outsourced to a Chinese Company called Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp (SEPCO). The project was running behind schedule, thus, in order to avoid penal action for the delay, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited was trying to bring in more Chinese professionals to the site. 

This needed project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Karti Chidambaram was thus approached by his close associate and they devised a back doorway to defeat the purpose of visa ceiling by granting permission to re-use the 263 project visas allotted to the Chinese company’s officials.

The permission for this devious visa grant to Chinese professionals was approved by the Home Ministry in the same month of application. 

Payment of crores was done to Karti Chidambaram through a false invoice by a company that made industrial knives citing consultancy services and visa-related work.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read | Congress Chintan Shivir: Chidambaram targets govt, says state of economy cause of 'extreme concern'

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