Madras HC stays look out notice issued against Karti Chidambaram

Madras HC stays look out notice issued against Karti Chidambaram”

Madras High Court on Thursday granted an interim stay on the lookout notice issued against Karti Chidambaram by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the FEMA rules violation case.

While Karti filed a writ petition against the LOC against him, the four others - CBN Reddy, Ravi Viswanathan, Mohanan Rajesh and S Bhaskararaman - filed a separate petition to quash the LOC against them.

In the case of other four petitioners also, the circulars were issued even before the date of their appearance before investigating officers, which was also prima facie "unwarranted", he said.

In his petition, Karti contended that the look out circular was part of the central government's "political vendetta" and issued "arbitrarily" without jurisdiction to prevent him from travelling overseas.

He also said it was issued without jurisdiction to prevent him from travelling overseas.

Earlier, the CBI charged Karti with alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance obtained by a media house in which he held a stake.

On Sunday, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that the Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT) was not taking action against Karti Chidambaram and former finance minister P Chidambaram. The Madras High Court directed the CBI to serve a copy of the circular with Karti.

The court has asked the Union Ministry to file a response in this case.

Karti had not appeared both times. He would have been allowed to leave the country only on the approval of the investigators. "Let him co-operate with the investigation and if he appears, the matter will be settled", Rajagopalan said and added that it was apprehended that if he went overseas, he would tamper with the witnesses.

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