What is Karti Chidambaram's new 'bribe-for-visa' case? | Jagran Explainer

The CBI has registered a case involving Karti Chidambaram, alleging that the Congress MP arranged visas for about 250 Chinese nationals for Rs 50 lakh to work at a power project in Punjab.

By Subhasish Dutta
Tue, 17 May 2022 12:52 PM IST
Minute Read
What is Karti Chidambaram's new 'bribe-for-visa' case? | Jagran Explainer
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New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Karti Chidambaram, the Lok Sabha MP and son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, was on Tuesday booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a fresh 'bribe-for-visa' case involving Chinese nationals. According to officials, Karti Chidambaram has been booked by the CBI for allegedly facilitating visas of 250 Chinese nationals in lieu of an illegal bribe of Rs 50 lakh in 2011.

The CBI conducted searches at 10 locations across multiple cities, including Karti Chidambaram's residences in Chennai and Delhi. The searches are being conducted at three locations in Chennai, three in Mumbai and one each in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Odisha, CBI officials added.

Karti Chidambaram, the Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu, is already embroiled in cases related to financial irregularities, including the INX media case.

What is Karti Chidambaram's new 'bribe-for-visa' case?

According to the CBI, Karti Chidambaram's new 'bribe-for-visa' case is an offshoot of an ongoing investigation. The Central agency has alleged that Karti Chidambaram had received Rs 50 lakh as an alleged bribe to facilitate the visas for 250 Chinese nationals during the UPA regime. The visas were related to the Chinese workers for the Talwandi Sabo power project in July-August 2011, when P Chidambaram was the Union home minister.

It is alleged that the Chinese firm, which was given the establishment contract for the power project in Punjab, was running behind schedule and it needed more manpower. However, there was a cap on allowing work permits for foreign nationals.

The Chinese firm allegedly approached Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly used his influence to facilitate the visas in violation of the ceiling imposed, officials said.

The CBI got the whiff of the case during an ongoing investigation against Karti Chidambaram 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 visa of Chinese workers who were supposed to work at the plant, the officials said.

Karti Chidambaram is also being probed in cases registered by the CBI, including the case lodged on May 15, 2017 over irregularities in a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during P Chidambaram's tenure as the Union Finance Minister.

Thereafter, the ED had also lodged a money laundering case. The economic offences watchdog had registered a PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case based on FIR by the CBI and alleged that irregularities took place in the FIPB clearance to INX media.

Chidambarams react

Reacting to the incident, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the "CBI team found nothing and seized nothing".

"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. The search team found nothing and seized nothing. I may point out that the timing of the search is interesting," he tweeted.

P Chidambaram questioned the timing of the raid as it has come at a time when Karti

Meanwhile, his son Karti said: "I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record," Karti tweeted soon after the news of the raids was out.

(With agency inputs)

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