When the application of Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, came up for hearing today, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose directed Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan to file a counter affidavit.
It also ordered issue of notice, returnable by February 12, to the Bureau of Immigration, and the Economic Offences wing of CBI among others.
In his application, filed in compliance with a January 31 directive of the Supreme Court to approach the high court, Karti Chidambaram sought permission to travel to the UK and France between February 15 and 28, and again between March 20 and 31 this year.
The Supreme Court, while remanding back to the high court the pleas relating to issuance of LOCs, had said the latter will deal with the application, if any, of the accused seeking permission to go abroad on merit.
The LOCs were issued against Karti Chidambaram and others in the case relating to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the finance minister.
The Bureau of Immigration and the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) had issued the LOCs at the CBI's request last year.
The CBI FIR, lodged on May 15 last year, had alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media.
The LOCs were earlier stayed by a single judge bench of the Madras High Court on a petition by Karti Chidambaram. On a special leave petition filed by the CBI, the Supreme Court had stayed the single judge's order. On January 31, it had remanded the matter back to the high court.
In his present petition, Karti Chidambaram said he had roots in society and was a responsible citizen, and that the question of him fleeing country does not arise.
He noted that the Supreme Court had earlier permitted him to travel to the UK in November last year after he appeared before the CBI in connection with the case.
He said his company Totus Tennis Ltd was engaged in sports business and its market was the UK and Europe.
Karti Chidambaram said he has to attend meetings in respect of the business of Totus, including organising tennis tournaments and training budding talents, and hence travel to the UK and France has become imperative.