New Delhi: In wake of the CBI on Saturday searching his Chennai house again and reportedly seizing documents in connection with the alleged Chinese visa scam case, Congress MP Karti P. Chidambaram accused the agency of taking away his daughter’s laptop.
“When CBI searched the residence located at No 16, Pycrofts Garden Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai on May 17, 2022, they found nothing. There was one cupboard in the residence that was locked and the owner was abroad. That cupboard was opened today and there were only clothes. The CBI found nothing and seized nothing. However, the CBI has illegally seized a laptop and an iPad belonging to my daughter. She is a University student that laptop contains her academic work. We have strongly protested the action and will move the Courts against the illegal seinure,” Karti Chidambaram said in a response to a IANS tweet.
A CBI source said that when the probe agency conducted searches at the residence of Karti Chidambaram in May, a portion of the house had to be sealed as the keys were with the Congress MP’s wife, who was reportedly out of the country then.
“Today, Karti Chidambaram’s wife joined the probe and we opened this portion of the house. We have recovered some incriminating evidences and documents,” said the source.
According to the CBI FIR, in 2011, a Mansa (Punjab) based private firm, Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd, took help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs. 50 lakh to get visas issued to Chinse nationals to help get a project completed before deadline.
“The private firm was in the process of establishing a 1,980 MW thermal power plant which was outsourced to a Chinese company. The project was running behind its schedule. In order to avoid penal action for the delay, the said private company was trying to bring more and more Chinese professionals to its site in Mansa district. For this it needed project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by Ministry of Home Affairs,” said a CBI official.
The official said that for the said purpose, the representative of the private firm approached a person in Chennai through his close associate and thereafter they devised a back-door ploy to get permission to re-use 263 project visas allotted to the said Chinese company’s officials.
In pursuance of the same, the said representative of the company submitted a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to re-use the project visas allotted to the company, which was approved within a month and permission was issued to the firm.
“A bribe of Rs. 50 lakh was allegedly demanded by the said private person based in Chennai through his close associate which was paid by the Mansa-based company. The payment of the said bribe was routed from Mansa to the person in Chennai and his close associate through a Mumbai-based company, reportedly controlled by Karti Chidambaram, as payment of false invoice raised for consultancy and out of pocket expenses for Chinese visa related works,” said the CBI official.
Karti Chidambaram’s father P. Chidambaram was the Union Home Minister then.