CBI moves to SC to vacate stay on LOC against Karti Chidambaram

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Supreme Court on Monday stayed Madras High Court's order that had put on hold the look out notce issued against Karti Chidambaram in an alleged corruption case, according to media reports. The lookout notice was issued to Karti by FRRO at the behest of the CBI.

The apex court order came on a petition by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which contended that the Madras High Court had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the plea and stay the lookout notice.

"We will say nothing but stay the High Court order", the bench told Subramanium as he sought to assure the bench that Karti Chidambaram would not be running away from investigation.

He also said he had responded to the summonses issued by the CBI in connection with the case and there was "no absolute cause of action" for issuance of the circular.

In his petition, Karti has contended that the look out circular was part of the central government's "political vendetta" and issued "arbitrarily" and without jurisdiction to prevent him from travelling overseas.

The bench, meanwhile, asked the High Court to decide the petition seeking quashing of the FIR lodged by the CBI.

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The Madras High Court had on August 10 stayed the "lookout circulars" issued against Karti and four others by the Centre, holding that they were prima facie "unwarranted". "Why have you not appeared even once", the top court asked Karti.

In his petition, Karti Chidambaram contended that the look out notice was part of the central government's political vendetta and issued arbitrarily and could not prevent him from travelling overseas.

Lookout circulars are issued by an investigating agency over apprehensions that the suspect may leave the country or try to evade the probe.

Karti has denied the accusations against him as being politically motivated.

The court made it clear that he would not be allowed to go abroad until he participated in the investigation into the case registered by the CBI on May 15, pertaining to Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX media company for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007.

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