The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Karti Chidambaram to travel to the UK and Spain in February and March adding a stern rider directing him to co-operate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its probe into his alleged role in the INX Media and Aircel Maxis case.
Failing which it would be viewed seriously, the court told the son of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram. His travel dates are from February 10 to 26 and again March 23 to 31.
Allowing him to “go where ever you want, do whatever you want”, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi warned: “Don’t play around. Not an inch of non-cooperation will be tolerated. You are not cooperating.”
A bench of Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked Chidambaram junior to appear before the ED for “further investigation” on March 5, 6, 7, and 12.
Apart from giving an undertaking, the court also directed Chidambaram junior to deposit Rs 10 crore as security with the Secretary General of the Supreme Court.
As senior counsel K.V. Vishwanathan appearing for the senior Congress leader’s son wanted to say something on the security deposit, Gogoi said: “Do you want us to add another zero?”
At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the ED has fixed his questioning dates between his first travel to the UK from February 10 to 26 and before his second travel to Spain from March 23 to 31.
The court in its last hearing on Monday had asked the ED to indicate the dates when it would like to question Chidambaram junior.
Telling Karti Chidambram that the court will “come down very heavily” on him if there was “an iota of non-cooperation” by him, the bench asked him to appear before the authorities (ED) on the dates mentioned and cooperate in every manner.
The court said: “Any non-cooperation would be viewed very seriously.”