Chinese visa ‘scam’: Delhi court grants bail to Karti Chidambaram

The MP earlier said that the ED probe in this case was a “fishing and roving” enquiry and that he has submitted all documents to the agency.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 06, 2024 | 7:09 PM Updated Jun 06, 2024 | 7:09 PM

Karti Chidambaram during election campaigning

A Delhi court on Thursday, 6 June, granted bail to Congress leader Karti Chidambaram in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Chinese visa scam.

Special Judge for ED and CBI, Kaveri Baweja, granted the relief to the accused after he appeared before the court in pursuance to summons issued against him.

The court had issued summons against the accused while taking cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the ED in the case.

The judge granted the relief on a personal bond of ₹one lakh and one surety of like amount.

Also Read: Delhi court reserves order on ED charge sheet against Karti Chidambaram

The case

The ED has registered the money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram in the alleged scam pertaining to the issuance of visas to 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father P Chidambaram was the Union home minister.

The ED said the actual magnitude or volume of the processed or laundered amount of money in the case was yet to be established during the investigation and the bribe amount of ₹50 lakh in the CBl case cannot be taken or considered as the basis of the present case.

The agency registered its case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking note of a first information report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the same case.

Also Read: Karti Chidambaram took ₹50 lakh bribe through close aide in Chinese visa case: ED

Modus operandi

The purported modus operandi adopted in the case was that the company paid ₹50 lakh through cheque to an entry operator in the garb of fictitious services, it claimed.

“The entry operator in turn paid ₹50 lakh cash to S Bhaskararaman, a close associate of Karti Chidambaram and the latter subsequently invested this cash of ₹50 lakh in Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Limited, a company controlled by Karti P Chidambaram,” the agency alleged.

The ED claimed that the value of ₹50 lakh so invested increased to ₹1.59 crore over a period of time which is the “proceeds of crime” as per provisions of the PMLA.

The MP earlier said that the ED probe in this case was a “fishing and roving” enquiry and that he has submitted all documents to the agency. He had called the case “most bogus”, asserting he was “certain that he never facilitated even a single Chinese national in their visa process, let alone 250.”

He had said this case was an attempt to target his father P Chidambaram through him.

(With PTI inputs)