September 23, 2019

No Proof That Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh House Was Bought With Money From Crime, States PMLA Appellate Tribunal

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Appellate Tribunal has stated that there is no evidence to prove that the Jor Bagh house co-owned by P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was purchased using money made from criminal activities.

The statement has come as interim relief for former union minister P Chidambaram and his family.

It may be recalled that on August 1, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued a notice to his son Karti Chidambaram, asking him to vacate the Jor Bagh house in ten days. It was attached by the ED on October 10, 2018, after the agency claimed that it was purchased with money from the alleged INX Media deal.

The attachment order was also confirmed by the PMLA adjudicating authority in March.

However, the PMLA Appellate Tribunal has directed the ED to maintain “status quo” on the property, stating that there is no evidence to show that the said property was bought using proceeds of crime.

The order also stated that there is no evidence that appellant Karti Chidambaram is likely to sell the property to frustrate the PMLA proceedings.

The PMLA Tribunal also noted the ED’s delay in not filing its response for more than five months, even after its direction on April 23 to reply to Karti Chidambaram’s application within six weeks.

The PMLA tribunal clarified that the ED’s attachment of the property would continue until the tribunal decides on Karti’s appeal.

Incidentally, Karti’s lawyers have assured that the Karti would not sell the house when the appeal is pending.

The tribunal stated that no charge sheet has been filed by the CBI and no prosecution complaint under the PMLA has been filed against the appellant Karti Chidambaram.

The tribunal order also stated that Karti Chidambaram is the owner of only 50% of the undivided share in the house which is also “enjoyed by wife and daughter” of Karti as well as his father P Chidambaram and his wife who reside in the same house.

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