After the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against Congress parliamentarian — Karti Chidambaram — and others to probe alleged proceeds of a crime he committed by taking a bribe of ₹50 lakh for arranging ‘project visas’ for 263 Chinese nationals in 2011 when his father, P Chidambaram was the Union Home Minister.
The ED filed the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on the basis of a CBI FIR registered on May 14 to probe alleged offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, agency sources said. The ED is expected to call Karti for questioning in the cash-for-visa scam.
The CBI had carried out raids at houses and offices — including those of Karti; his chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman; Vedanta Group company Talwandi Sabo Power; and Chidambaram, who has been named in the case but not made an accused. Bhaskararaman has been arrested by the CBI since he, as per the FIR, was the points person for arranging project visas for TSPL through his proximity with the Chidambarams. He, alleged the CBI, had fixed the bribe deal too.
Lok Sabha MP Karti has also been accused by the CBI of receiving a bribe of ₹50 lakh at the behest of his father, who influenced the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry to illegally allow re-use of 265 project visas for employees of Chinese firm Shandong Electric Power Construction (SEPCO). Vedanta Group company TSPL had engaged the firm for setting up a 1,980-MW thermal power plant in the Mansa district of Punjab.
Karti is already facing two other cases — INX Media and the Aircel-Maxis cases — by the ED.