Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, will have to pay a second security deposit of Rs 10 crore - above a previous deposit of the same amount - if he wants to go abroad, the Supreme Court said today. The father son-duo is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing in securing foreign investment worth crores when P Chidambaram was a union minister in the UPA government.
Karti Chidambaram had asked for permission from the Supreme Court to fly to the US, Germany and Spain this month to attend meetings of a tennis association. He is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga, where voting took place on April 18.
When Karti Chidambaram's lawyer told the court that his client had already paid Rs 10 crore security deposit to the court's registry, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, "Give another Rs 10 crore. Your client doesn't have difficulty in paying this money."
The top court bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna told Karti Chidambaram to give an undertaking that he would return and cooperate with the investigation. The court said it would "come down heavily" on him if he refused to cooperate.
The top court had in January allowed him to go abroad after he deposited Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court.
Investigators had opposed Karti Chidambaram's request to go abroad and alleged that he has been evasive, non-cooperative and causing delay in the probe. He had been abroad for 51 days in the last six months, investigators said.
Karti Chidambaram faces several criminal cases being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation, including one on the Foreign Investment Promotion Board giving clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds worth Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister in the UPA government.