Published On: Fri, Jan 19th, 2018
India | By IANS

SC gives time to CBI on plea by INX Media case witness

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday gave the CBI time till January 22 to respond to the application of Mohanan Rajesh — a witness in the INX Media case — seeking permission to go abroad to meet his son.

I am summoned only as a witness … why can’t I go and come back

Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud adjourned the hearing till Monday as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pressed for time to respond to Rajesh’s application seeking to go to Scotland to meet his son, a student there.

As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) resisted, senior counsel Kapil Sibal said: “All our business activities have stopped. I have a lot of business outside. I can’t go out of the country?”

As Mehta pressed for time to respond to the application, Sibal retorted: “I want to go for leisure. Who can stop me?”

Senior counsel KV Viswanathan told the court that Rajesh wished to leave on January 24 and return on February 5.

Moving the application for permission to go abroad, Viswanathan told the court that “I am summoned only as a witness … why can’t I go and come back?”

He said that earlier Rajesh’s application to travel abroad when his son was seeking admission in Scotland was not allowed. But now, since he has got the admission, the father should be allowed to visit and meet him.

Rajesh is a Director of Advantage Strategic Consultant, which the CBI says is owned by Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Karti Chidambram has denied any linkage with Advantage Strategic Consultant,

The matter relates to alleged irregularities in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the INX Media in 2007.

Karti Chidambram is facing probe for his alleged role in facilitating the FIPB clearance for the INX Media Ltd. P. Chidambram was then the Union Finance Minister.

Sibal, appearing for Karti Chidambram, urged the court to let the High Court decided on his client’s plea challenging the issuance of lookout circular against his client and others.

Sibal said the lookout circular was stayed by the Madras High Court but the top court restored it on August 11, 2017 by putting on hold the High Court order.

The apex court had on October 11, 2017 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.

The apex 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.

This aspect of the case too will be heard on January 22.

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