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Chinese visa: Delhi court grants bail to Karti Chidambaram in money laundering case

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

Karti Chidambaram appeared before Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court.

The court had earlier taken cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March against Chidambaram and his former Chartered Accountant S Bhaskararaman in the case.

The judge granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of the same amount.

In April, the court had granted interim bail to three accused in the case.

Besides Chidambaram, Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Ltd, Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd and others are also named as accused in the case.

The financial probe agency had initiated the investigation based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The investigation by the ED revealed that Chidambaram allegedly received illegal gratification of Rs 50 lakh through his close aide Bhaskararaman in exchange for facilitating the approval for the reuse of Chinese visas by Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd.

“This company was involved in establishing a power project in Mansa, Punjab. Officials from the company approached Karti P Chidambaram to assist in obtaining approval for visa reuse from the Ministry of Home Affairs, where his father served as Home Minister,” a senior ED official had said.

The official had said that the modus operandi employed in this case involved the company issuing a Rs 50 lakh cheque to an entry operator for fictitious services, and the entry operator then provided Rs 50 lakh in cash to Bhaskararaman.

“Subsequently, S Bhaskararaman invested this cash sum of Rs 50 lakh into Advantage Strategic Consulting Private Ltd, a company controlled by Karti P Chidambaram. Over time, the value of this investment increased to Rs 1.59 crore, constituting proceeds of crime under the provisions of the PMLA,” the official had said.

–IANS

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