Making it clear that the trial court shall pass orders without getting influenced by the high court's directions today, the bench said certain conditions be imposed on Karti like asking him to appear before the ED, as and when called by the investigating officer, and cooperate in the probe.
The special judge posted the hearing on Karti's bail plea on March 15.
"If the CBI court grants bail to the petitioner in the CBI case, no coercive steps shall be exercised against the petitioner by the ED under section 19 (Power to arrest) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)", the bench said. The ED also prompted Karti's lawyers to withdraw the plea from the top court and go to the High Court asking for relief.
It is submitted by the ED that during the course of the investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his "ill-gotten wealth" in India and abroad.Counsel for CBI submitted before the court that further custody of Karti was necessary. They are inventing one.
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Karti Chidamabaram will face further custodial interrogation by the CBI for three days in connection with the INX Media corruption case with a court here today extending his police custody till March 12 during which he will be confronted with his chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman. The CD is being sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory for forensic examination. Speaking on Karti's behalf, Singhvi told the court that Karti was kept awake till 2.30 pm at night and again woken up at 6 am and asked the same questions. It had registered an ECIR, the ED's equivalent of an FIR, against the accused named in the CBI complaint. Karti is accused of using his clout as the son of then finance minister P Chidambaram to get Foreign Investment Promotional Board (FIPB) clearance for INX Media in 2007, which was earlier accused of serious violations in receiving overseas funds. In return for this investment, Karti is alleged to have been paid 700,000 dollars by the two former owners of the media house, Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
The court also said the HC would deal with any plea for interim protection.
The Enforcement Directorate had filed a case against him a year ago alleging fraud in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign investment of over Rs 300 crore in 2007 when P Chidambaram was the union finance minister.