The Supreme Court judge-bench led by Justice Deepak Gupta has refused to refund the security deposit of Rs. 10 crores that Karti Chidambaram paid to the apex court for traveling abroad in May and June. The bench said that this amount will continue to remain with the apex court for another three months. Karti Chidambaram has been facing various probes in the Aircel-Maxis and INX Media cases which is the reason why he had to place a deposit with the apex court’s registry before leaving for his trip abroad. The Supreme Court had dismissed his plea seeking the return of the Rs 10 crore in May as well.
The son of former Union Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, Karti, appealed the Supreme Court to return the security deposit after he was back from his foreign trips in May. This came after a bench headed by the CJI had allowed Karti to travel to the United Kingdom, the US, France, Germany, and Spain in the months of May and June in 2019. Karti claimed that he had taken the money on loan and has been paying interest on it since then. In a similar incident earlier, the apex court had also granted Karti permission to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary-general of the Supreme Court, in January. Notably, Karti was not returned his money during the earlier trip either.
Supreme Court, on Enforcement Directorate's (ED) request, had earlier asked Karti to file an undertaking stating that he will not flee the country and that he will return to India after his trip. It also mentioned that Karti will have to cooperate with the investigation, and warned that they would "come down heavily" on him in the case of not fulfilling the set rules. ED had also opposed Karti's plea seeking permission to travel abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and caused a delay in completing the investigations. They said that Karti was out of India for 51 days in the last six months. The ED also claimed that Karti has been "blatantly misusing" the liberty granted by the court to extend the duration of investigation in the cases.