Chinese visa scam: Delhi HC to hear Karti's anticipatory bail plea on Aug 18
New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday adjourned, to August 18, the hearing on the anticipatory bail plea filed by Congress MP Karti P. Chidambaram, in an alleged money laundering case linked to the allotment of visas to Chinese nationals in 2011.
Justice Poonam A. Bamba, told about the non-availability of Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, adjourned the matter to August 18.
The Enforcement Directorate also reiterated its previous assurance that it won't take any coercive action against the Lok Sabha MP.
On June 24, the ED apprised the High Court that the agency will not arrest Karti Chidambaram till July 12 and the matter was adjourned for next month.
Karti Chidambaram, the son of senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, moved the high court following the dismissal of his anticipatory bail plea by a lower court.
On June 3, the court of special CBI judge M.K. Nagpal denied the anticipatory bail applications moved by Karti Chidambaram and other accused persons in the case, including his chartered accountant, S. Bhaskar Raman, and Vikas Makharia, the associate vice-president of thermal power plant Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd.
In the last hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal had argued that the alleged transaction was from 2011 and the ED registered the case after the lapse of a long time, pointing out that there was no investigation in all these years.
Counsel also argued that the value of the alleged transaction was Rs 50 lakh, which was less than Rs 1 crore, and in view of this fact, he should be granted bail.
According to the FIR, the Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd in Punjab's Mansa took the help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh to get visas issued for Chinese nationals to complete a project before the deadline.
"The payment of the said bribe was routed from the Mansa-based private company to a private person in Chennai and his close associate through a Mumbai-based company as payment of false invoice raised for consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese visa-related works," the FIR read.