CBI books Karti Chidambaram for facilitating visas of Chinese nationals for illegal gratification


After registering the case, the CBI teams conducted coordinated search operations at 10 locations in multiple cities in the country, including Chidambarams' residences in Chennai and Delhi, they said.

Karti Chidambaram. Photo: PTI/File

New Delhi:The CBI has registered a fresh case against Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram to probe an 11-year-old allegation of facilitating visas of 250 Chinese nationals after receiving illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union home minister, officials said on Tuesday.

After registering the case, the CBI teams conducted coordinated search operations at 10 locations in multiple cities in the country, including Chidambarams' residences in Chennai and Delhi, they said.

The searches are being conducted at three locations in Chennai, three in Mumbai and one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Odisha, they added.

"I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record," Karti tweeted immediately after the CBI raids without specifying.

Later, he further tweeted that his office has updated him about the searches. "My office has just updated on the 'record' twice in 2015, once in 2017, twice in 2018 and today :) (smiley) 6!.”

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram, in his tweets in Hindi and English, said a CBI team searched his residence at Chennai and his official residence at Delhi.

"The team showed me an FIR in which I am not named as an accused. The search team found nothing and seized nothing," he said, adding, "I may point out that the timing of the search is interesting."

However, he did not mention what “timing” he was referring to.

In the new case, which is an offshoot of an ongoing probe, the CBI has alleged that Karti had received Rs 50 lakh alleged bribe to facilitate the visa of 250 Chinese nationals during the UPA regime for Talwandi Sabo power project in July-August 2011, when his father was the Union home minister, the officials said.

It is alleged that the power project in Punjab for which establishment contract was given to a Chinese firm was running behind schedule and it needed manpower but there was a ceiling for allowing work permits of foreign nationals, they said.

It is alleged that the firm approached Karti who used his influence to facilitate the visas in violation of ceiling imposed, they added.

The CBI got the whiff of the case during an ongoing investigation against Karti who is already under probe in getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the INX media and Aircel Maxis case, they said.

Following the scrutiny of the transactions, the CBI had detected the payments worth Rs 50 lakh which are alleged to be illegal gratification for facilitating the visas of Chinese workers who were supposed to work at the plant, the officials said.

PTI

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