Rouse Avenue Court here on Thursday granted interim protection from arrest to Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram till May 30 in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) linked to an alleged Chinese visa scam.
The ED had filed the money laundering case against the Congress MP, his close aide S Bhaskararaman, and others in connection with the alleged scam, which facilitated project visas for Chinese nationals for a power project of the Vedanta group in Punjab in return for bribes, when his father P Chidambaram was the Union Home Minister during the Congress regime.
Earlier in the day, Karti appeared before the CBI at its headquarters here to record his statement in connection with the case.
On Wednesday, Bhaskararaman, Chartered Accountant of Karti, was arrested by the CBI from Chennai for allegedly helping Chinese nationals get visas by flouting the rules.
According to the FIR, a Mansa (Punjab)-based private firm, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited, took the 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.
On Thursday, Karti after appearing before CBI in the case denied all the allegations and said that he "did not felicitate a single Chinese national" and the case was bogus.
According to CBI, "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."