Karti Chidambaram on Thursday refused to appear before the CBI for questioning in connection with the foreign investment clearance given to Aircel in 2006 when his father P Chidambaram was Finance Minister.
Karti, through his lawyer, told the agency that all the accused in the Aircel-Maxis case had been discharged by a special court. Therefore, the CBI had no jurisdiction to summon him in this case, Karti contended.
The accused were then Communication Minister Dayanadhi Maran, his brother and owner of Sun TV Kalanidhi. The charge was that Dayanaidhi pressurised Aircel owner and Malaysian Sivasankaran to take in Anandakrishnan of Maxis as a partner. As a quid pro quo, Anandakrishnan bought stake in Sun Network.
Others involved in the Aircel-Maxis deal were Malayasian national Ralph Marshal and four firms.
Chidambaram as Finance Minister got clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for an investment of US $ 800 million in Aircel by Maxis. Chidambaram has already told the CBI that the approval was given in normal course of business.
A CBI special court in Feb 2 this year discharged the Marans and two firm from the case, holding that the charges had no legal basis.
Refuting Karti’s stand that the case was over, CBI contended that investigations were still on.
The agency is also probing Karti’s involvement in another case of alleged misuse of foreign investment by INX Media and its owners Indrani and Peter Mukherjea. The charge is they paid money to get Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval.
In all these cases, Karti allegedly collected consultation or service charges from beneficiaries.