A lookout circular has been issued against Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, to prevent him for leaving the country. The Congress leader, who is being probed in corruption and foreign exchange violation cases, has appealed to the Madras High Court to get the directive cancelled. The court will take up his request on Monday.
Investigating agencies ask the government to issue lookout circulars against suspects when they fear that the suspect may leave the country or try to evade the probe.
The circular implies that Karti Chidambaram will have to keep the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate informed about his travel plans abroad. He will be allowed to leave the country only on the approval of the investigators.
The businessman, who is also a Congress member, has denied any wrongdoing and says the allegations are politically motivated.
As word about the lookout notice got around, local Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga town - the constituency that his father had represented in the past - went on an overdrive, tweeting Karti Chidambaram's pictures at a local party meeting to counter the perception that he was trying to evade the probe. Mr Chidambaram also uploaded one picture, with a message: "For all those "looking out for me".
Investigators have alleged that Karti Chidambaram has received kickbacks amounting to 3.5 crore in exchange for facilitating the breaking of foreign investment laws by a private company, the INX Media.
The company, which had approval only for foreign investment worth Rs. 4.62 crore, had raised around Rs. 305 crore. At the time, INX Media was run at the time by Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail allegedly for the murder of Sheena Bora.
The agency claims that Karti Chidambaram was facilitating approvals through his father's "influence in the finance ministry" while he was the minister.
The former minister had denied this."Anyone who has worked with me knows that no one would dare to influence my decisions. I had never allowed any family member to speak to me or to any officer of my ministry on any official matter," P Chidambaram had said in a statement in May.
"I have done no business with INX, never have I interjected in the ministry... This is all bogus," his son has said.