Sources said in 2011 Karti Chidambaram allegedly got these illegal visas from Home Ministry against rules when father P Chidambaram was minister
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted coordinated raids on multiple locations across the country associated with Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, who is a Lok Sabha MP.
Karti Chidambaram’s Chennai house was among the premises raided by the CBI.
Though Karti Chidambaram said he had “lost count” of the number of times raids had been conducted against him, which he said “must be a record”, the new case against him pertains to allegations of having facilitated visas for 250 Chinese nationals when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Home Minister in lieu of Rs 50 lakh ‘bribe’ in 2011.
I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record.
— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) May 17, 2022
Officials said the CBI stumbled upon this new case while probing the INX Media case in which Karti Chidambaram is already under the lens for accusations of having facilitated FIPB clearance for INX Media.
According to sources, Karti Chidambaram had allegedly facilitated visas for Chinese nationals for the Talwandi Sabo Power Plant, the establishment of which had been outsourced to the Chinese company Shadong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO), when they were running behind schedule.
As per sources, the case throws back to when Talwandi Sabo Power Plant was in the process of establishing a 1980 MW Thermal Power plant at Mansa in Punjab. The work had been outsourced to Chinese company SEPCO. As the project had fallen behind schedule, to avoid penal action for the delay Talwandi Sabo Power Limited was trying to bring in more Chinese professionals at the site.
The problem with this, sources said, was that the number of project visas needed for more Chinese nationals was over and above the ceiling imposed by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Subsequently, the company allegedly approached Karti Chidambaram through his close associates “to devise a back-door way to circumvent the Visa ceiling by granting permission to re-use 263 project visas allotted to the Chinese company,” sources added.
Allegedly, the Home Ministry had granted the illegal visas in the same month as they were applied for.
Sources also added that the payment of the ‘bribe’ was done to Karti Chidambaram via a false invoice by a company which made industrial knives citing consultancy services and visa-related work.
P Chidambaram also took to Twitter, questioning the “timing of the search”, which he said was “interesting”.
This morning, a CBI team searched my residence at Chennai and my official residence at Delhi. The team showed me a FIR in which I am not named as an accused.
The search team found nothing and seized nothing.
I may point out that the timing of the search is interesting.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 17, 2022
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala also reacted on the CBI raids on Tuesday and said, “To plant source based preposterous allegations against a former Home Minister & Finance Minister by CBI reflects the lowest ebb in political discourse.”
Mr. @PChidambaram_IN is a Nationalist & a Patriot, whose commitment to the country is unquestionable. To plant source based preposterous allegations against a former Home Minister & Finance Minister by CBI reflects the lowest ebb in political discourse.
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 17, 2022
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