New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday said Karti Chidambaram has been named as an accused in an FIR lodged against the alleged issuance of visas to Chinese nationals by flouting rules.
The latest development comes amid the ongoing raids being conducted at 10 places in Chennai, Mumbai, Koppal (Karnataka), Jharsuguda (Odisha), Mansa (Punjab) and Delhi belonging to former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti.
Talwandi Sabo Power Limited, a private firm based in Mansa, took the help of a middleman and allegedly paid Rs 50 lakh to get the visa issued for the Chinese nationals which would help it in completing a project before the deadline, according to the CBI.
Besides Karti Chidambaram, Chennai-based S.Bhaskararaman, who is said to be a close associate, has also been named as an accused in the FIR.
"The Mansa-based private firm was in the process of establishing a 1,980 MW thermal power plant and establishing of plant 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 Mansa and needed project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by Ministry of Home Affairs," a CBI official said.
The official said that for the said purpose, the representative of the private company approached a person based in Chennai through his close associate and thereafter they devised a back-door to defeat the purpose of ceiling (maximum of project visas permissible to the company's plant) by granting permission to reuse 263 vISAs allotted to the Chinese company's officials.
In pursuance of the same, the representative of the private company submitted a letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking approval to reuse the visas, which was approved within a month and permission was issued.
It has been alleged that the senior Chidambaram allegedly helped Chinese getting visas by flouting rules.
The raids started at 8 am and is still going on. The CBI is also recording the statements of the persons who are at the house of the Chidambarams.
Meanwhile, P. Chidambaram took to Twitter and criticised the raid.
"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."