The Enforcement Directorate yesterday searched the homes of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti in Delhi and Chennai in connection with a money laundering case. However, the former finance minister said he had anticipated the probe agency would “do some drama to cover up their tracks”.
The raids were conducted at one location in Delhi and four in Chennai, an ED official said.
The agency on Thursday issued a fresh summons to Karti in the money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in getting foreign investment for INX Media in 2007. The ED had registered the case against Karti in May 2017.
Chidambaram said the raids were a reaction to the notices sent out by the Supreme Court that heard Karti’s appeal on Friday. The 46-year-old businessman had questioned the cases filed against him by the probe agencies, including the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation .
The former minister said he had anticipated his home in Chennai will be searched again. “But in a comedy of errors they came to search the premises in Jor Bagh (in Delhi) and the officers told me that they believed Karti is an occupant of this house but he is not. He lives in Chennai.
“I told them he is a resident of Chennai and I am the occupant of this house. In Chennai also they recovered nothing. In fact in the Chennai premises, they have conducted raids three times so far,” Chidambaram told reporters in Delhi.
He said the Supreme Court had issued notices to the ED in the cases filed by Karti on the ground that the agency had no jurisdiction over offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Chidambaram said he had no objection to their carrying out searches because they had warrants but questioned the ED’s jurisdiction in the matter.
“The main ground in the cases is that there is no FIR in respect of a scheduled crime registered by any police agency, including the CBI or any other investigating agency. In the absence of a scheduled crime and there are no proceeds of the crime, the ED has no jurisdiction under PMLA.
“The ED has no jurisdiction to investigate (the case) under the PMLA. I recorded that. Obviously they found nothing. They searched the bedroom, kitchen. They found nothing. Since they have to justify, they came here.
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