Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, Thursday challenged the Enforcement Directorate's notice to vacate his Jor Bagh residence, alleging that the government was pursuing a politically motivated vendetta against his family.
Karti's immovable property situated in the posh locality had been attached on October 10 last year by the ED in connection with the INX Media corruption case in which the father-son duo is accused.
The eviction notice was served on Wednesday evening following an earlier order of the Adjudicating Authority, PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act).
The case involving Rs 305 crore relates to Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media.
Karti approached the authority saying an appeal in this regard was already pending adjudication and ED''s directions on Wednesday were a violation of law.
In his plea, Karti said: "Central government has been pursuing a politically motivated vendetta against the family of P Chidambaram, especially his son Karti and all persons even remotely connected to the appellant including his mother Nalini."
He said that the vendetta is reflective of the "mala fide intention of the central government" and for the past four years the Centre has pursued its vendetta against the appellant by abusing the powers of agencies like the Income Tax department, ED and the CBI, all of which are under its control.
"In the light of the conduct of the Central agencies over the past four years, it is submitted that, it is undeniable that they have been acting malafide and harassing the appellant without any justification," the plea said.
The petition contended that the order and the entire attachment proceedings in the case are "bad in law" and the notice under section 8(4) PMLA is purely a "mala fide" exercise of power to "prejudice" him.
"There is no cause or reason to issue the notice after four months from the date of filing the appeal, except the untenable contents of the notice that the ED is authorised to take the possession of the said premises under section 8(4) of the PMLA," the plea said.
It said the notice amounts to depriving him of his legitimately acquired property, which has no connection whatsoever with the false predicate case registered by the CBI or the instant proceedings by the ED.
At the very least, ED should provide the grounds for issuance of the said notice at this stage, it said, adding that in the absence of the same, the operation of the notice be stayed.
It said, till date, neither a charge sheet has been filed by the CBI in the alleged offence nor a complaint has been filed by the ED in the proceedings in the PMLA. Therefore, it said, the notice to deprive him of his property at this stage is wholly misconceived and bad in law.
Karti said he is only an owner of 50 per cent undivided share in the said property and the remaining vests with his mother Nalini Chidambaram.
He also challenged the ED's jurisdiction to register an enforcement case investigation report, saying that the alleged proceeds of crime that they have identified amount only to Rs 10 lakh.
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