CBI raids P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram in 'bribe-for-visa' case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday raided the residence and offices of Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on new bribery allegations involving facilitating visas for 250 Chinese nationals. Seven locations linked to Karti—the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram—and his associates were reportedly raided across Chennai, Mumbai, Odisha, and Delhi. The CBI also searched Chidambaram's residence at 80 Lodhi Estate in Delhi.
- The CBI reportedly discovered documents related to this new bribery case while probing the INX Media FIPB clearance case against Karti.
- In May 2017, the CBI filed the INX Media corruption case, following which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a money laundering case.
- The CBI apprehended Karti in February 2018 in this case but he was released on bail a month later in March.
The investigating agency has reportedly filed a new case against Karti, accusing him of accepting a bribe of Rs. 50 lakh to facilitate the visas of 250 Chinese nationals for a Punjab power project between 2010 and 2014. On Tuesday, the CBI team reportedly interrogated the staff present at his Delhi residence at the time of the raid and took some documents with them.
"There were...seven members in the CBI team. Karti Chidambaram was not at his residence during the raid at 7:30 am," Birbal Singh, his house's security guard, was quoted as saying by NDTV. Meanwhile, shortly after the news of the CBI raids against him emerged, Karti tweeted, "I have lost count. How many times has it been? Must be a record."
This morning, a CBI team searched my residence at Chennai and my official residence at Delhi. The team showed me a FIR in which I am not named as an accused.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 17, 2022
The search team found nothing and seized nothing.
I may point out that the timing of the search is interesting.
Karti is being probed in numerous cases, including one involving irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's (FIPB) approval for INX Media to receive Rs. 305 crore in foreign funds in 2007. His father, Chidambaram, was the Union Finance Minister at the time. Based on the CBI's FIR, the ED had also lodged a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case against him.
Earlier, in a major relief to P Chidambaram and Karti, a Delhi court granted regular bail to the father-son duo in the Aircel-Maxis case in March. It pertains to alleged irregularities in the approval of the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. The CBI and ED had alleged that Chidambaram approved the settlement beyond his capacity as the finance minister, benefiting some people and receiving kickbacks.