Politics of victimisation, says Karti on Chinese visa scam case

Politics


New Delhi, May 26 : Karti Chidambaram, who on Thursday appeared before the CBI here in connection with the Chinese visa scam case, denied all the allegations and said that he "did not felicitate a single Chinese national" and the case was bogus. He said that the earlier cases lodged against him were also "bogus and this one was the biggest of them". While arriving at headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here, he spoke to the waiting mediapersons and said, "This is politics of victimisation and they are trying to tarnish my image," said Karti. Karti had to appear before the CBI on Wednesday but due to some reasons he could not. Now a team of elite officials of the CBI will record his statement. S. Bhaskararaman, his Chartered Accountant, is currently in custodial remand of the CBI. Karti will be confronted with him. The CBI had told the court hat they wanted to confront him with Karti and other accused. The CBI has also recovered 65,000 emails which will be used as evidence. A sales deed recovered during the raids is of a property bought in Delhi's 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 help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh to get the visa issued for Chinese nationals to complete 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 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 that for the said purpose, 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. "A bribe of Rs 50 lakh was allegedly demanded by the 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 the 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 Karti's father -- 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. /IANS




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