Chinese visa scam case: Karti Chidambaram appears before CBI
New Delhi, May 26: Karti Chidambaram on Thursday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at its headquarters here to record his statement in connection with a Chinese visa scam case.
He has been accused along with others of allegedly helping 263 Chinese nationals to get visas by flouting rules.
Karti had to appear before the CBI on Wednesday by 11 a.m., but he didn't join the probe. He told the journalists that "he had to go to a barber shop for a haircut".
"Now he has come and we will record his statement. His questioning will begin around 11 a.m.," said the CBI source.
His Chartered Accountant, is currently in custodial remand of the CBI. Karti will be confronted with him. The CBI had told the court that they wanted to confront him with Karti and other accused.
The CBI has also recovered 65,000 emails in the matter which will be used as evidence.
A sales deed recovered during the raids is very important. This sales deed is of a property bought in Jor Bagh and the power of attorney is in the name of Bhaskararaman whereas the property was bought by Karti and his mother.
Karti Chidambaram will be questioned in this connection.
According to the FIR, a Mansa (Punjab) based private firm, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited, took the help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh to get the visas issued for the Chinese nationals which would help it in completing a project before the deadline.
"The Mansa (Punjab) based private firm was in the process of establishing a 1,980 MW thermal power plant and this was outsourced to a Chinese company. The project was running behind its schedule. In order to avoid penal actions for the delay, the said private company was trying to bring more and more Chinese persons, professionals for their site at district Mansa (Punjab) and needed Project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs," said the CBI official.
The official said the representative of the said private company approached a person based at Chennai through his close associate and thereafter they devised a back-door way to defeat the purpose of ceiling (maximum of Project Visas permissible to the company's plant) by granting permission to reuse 263 Project Visas allotted to the said Chinese company's officials.
In pursuance of the same, the said representative of the Mansa-based private company submitted a letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to reuse the Project Visas allotted to this company, which was approved within a month and permission was issued to the company. P. Chidambaram, father of Karti Chidambaram, was the Union Home Minister then.
"A bribe of Rs 50 lakh was allegedly demanded by the said private person based at Chennai through his close associate which was paid by the Mansa-based private company. The payment of said bribe was routed from Mansa-based private company to said private person of Chennai and his close associate through a Mumbai-based company as payment of false invoice raised for Consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese Visas related works whereas the private company based at Mumbai was never in any kind of work relating to visas rather it was in an entirely different business of industrial knives," said the CBI official.
It has been alleged that senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram allegedly helped the Chinese get visas by flouting rules.
The CBI officials said that they were looking into the matter.