As per officials, the company needed project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the MHA. The firm then approached a “Chennai-based person” after which they devised a backdoor way to “by- pass the ceiling” by getting MHA’s permission to reuse 263 project visas allotted to the Chinese company executives.
The approval, CBI said, came within a month allegedly in lieu of a bribe of Rs 50 lakh, which was routed through a Mumbaibased firm involved in selling industrial knives.
Former Union home minister P Chidambaram tweeted on raids on Tuesday: “This morning, a CBI team searched my residence at Chennai and my official residence at Delhi. The team showed me an 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. ”
His son Karti too tweeted on the raid at his establishments. “I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record. My office has just updated on the ‘record’ twice in 2015, once in 2017, twice in 2018 & today 🙂 6! (sic),” he said.
Apart from Karti, the CBI in its FIR has named his close associate and chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, Vikas Makharia, a representative of TSPL and the two firms — Bell Tools, Mumbai and TSPL, Punjab. It also named unidentified public servants and others. “The searches at our Punjab facility have been part of a larger CBI probe. We are extending full cooperation to authorities and facilitating the due process. We have no further comments,” a TSPL spokesperson said.