New Delhi, May 6 : A Delhi court on Monday extended the interim protection from arrest to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel Maxis case. The matter has been adjourned for May 30 for further hearing.
Special Judge OP Saini gave the order after hearing the submission on behalf of Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Karti Chidambaram, 47, was arrested in the month of February last year on the charges of money laundering but was granted bail.
Aircel Maxis deal case emerged out of 2G spectrum cases pertains to a grant by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to M/s Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel. The ED in this matter alleged that the FIPB approval granted in Aircel Maxis case in March 2006 by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was beyond his mandate as he was only authorised to accord approval on project proposals up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). After filing the charge sheet on October, 25 last year, the ED submitted before the court that an alleged payment of Rs 26 lakh was made by Aircel Televentures Limited to ASCPL, a firm allegedly linked to Karti, within a few days of this FIPB approval and it is investigating "the circumstances of said FIPB approval granted by the then Finance Minister (Chidambaram)".
The investigating agency was investigating the case of Aircel Maxis deal of Rs 3,500 crore and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. Mr Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader is accused number-1 in the Aircel Maxis case involving approvals from FIPB or the Foreign Investment Promotion Board that were allegedly illegal. Mr Chidambaram is accused of misusing his office as Finance Minister in the Congress Government to clear foreign investment deals in exchange for which his son Karti Chidambaram was given kickbacks.
The CBI alleged through its charge sheet that two illegal payments of Rs 26 lakhs and Rs 87 lakh were paid to Karti Chidambaram’s companies Chess Management and Advantage Strategic (allegedly indirectly owned by him) during the Aircel Maxis deal for the FIPB clearance when his father P Chidamabarm was the Finance Minister. Counsel for the ED and CBI today submitted before the court that some time may be granted to gather the evidence in the matter. Special Judge OP Saini, after hearing the submission on behalf of the Prosecution and Defence Counsel, extended the interim protection from arrest to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram and adjourned the matter for May 30 for further hearing. (UNI)