Madras HC seeks order copy transferring case against Karti Chidambaram, wife to special court

The Madras High Court has directed the prosecution to produce a copy of a lower court order transferring the cases against Karti Chidambaram to a special court designated to deal with cases involving MPs and MLAs.

Justice PD Audikesavalu gave the directive on Monday while hearing a petition against the transfer to the special court the criminal prosecution initiated by the Income Tax Department against Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi pending before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Egmore, Chennai.

The judge then posted the matter after a week.

When the matter came up, a counter affidavit was filed by the Registrar General of the high court, justifying the transfer of cases.

The Registrar General, in the counter, said, “The transfer of cases was made according to the orders of Supreme Court on September 12, 2018 and the offences alleged to have been committed by the petitioners are classified under section 279 A of Income Tax Act.”

He said that the penal provision for which the petitioners were charged provides for imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend up to seven years with fine.

The counter further said that the EOW court in the cadre of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate does not have exclusive jurisdiction to try cases relating to violations of Income Tax Act.

It said that the impugned transfer of the case to special Court in deference to the directions issued by the Supreme Court does not suffer from any legal infirmity as contended by the petitioners.

Senior counsel ARL Sunderesan, appearing for Karti, said that they were served with the copy of the circular of Registrar General only but not with the copy of the order passed by the magistrate concerned transferring the cases to the special court.

“If the copy of the order of magistrate is served only then we will come to know whether the transfer was made on the basis of high court circular or as per the Supreme Court order,” Sunderesan said.

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