Visa scam: HC to hear bail plea of Karti Chidambaram on August 18

On July 12, ED had orally assured the high court that no coercive action would be taken against Karti Chidambaram till July 12.
Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram
Congress MP Karti P ChidambaramPTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Tuesday listed for hearing on August 18 the anticipatory bail plea by Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram in the alleged Chinese Visas scam being probed by Enforcement Directorate.

Justice Poonam A Bamba deferred hearing on the plea after the counsel for Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed that Additional Solicitor General SV Raju was not available.

The investigating agency also orally said that its earlier assurance concerning no coercive action against Karti Chidambaram would extend till the next date.

On July 12, ED had orally assured the high court that no coercive action would be taken against him till July 12.

Karti Chidambaram had approached the high court after his anticipatory bail plea and that of two others was dismissed by the trial court on June 3 on the ground that the offence was of a very serious nature.

ED has registered the money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram and others in the alleged scam about the issuance of a visa to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the home minister.

ED has said that the actual magnitude or volume of the processed or laundered amount of money in the case was yet to be established during the investigation and the bribe amount of ₹ 50 lakh in the CBl case cannot be taken or considered as the basis of the present case.

The agency has registered its case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognisance of a recent first information report by the CBI in the same case.

When the case was heard by the court during vacation last month, the ED had opposed the anticipatory bail plea, saying Karti cannot file the application on a figment of imagination that does not show any genuine apprehension of his arrest.

The ED had said the application is premature as the investigation has not yet begun in the matter and even Karti has not been summoned yet.

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