New Delhi, November 26: In a new series of development in the Aircel-Maxis case, the CBI has told a Delhi court that it has "requisite sanction" to prosecute former union minister P Chidambaram of the Congress in the Aircel-Maxis case. The investigating agency also told the court that there is fresh evidence to prove that Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram closed bank accounts in foreign countries after a charge-sheet was filed in the case.
The Chidambarams have been granted protection from arrest till December 18. Their protection was extended after the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation said it needed two weeks to get sanction against five others accused in the case. Chidambaram, a former finance minister and a senior Congress leader, is "Accused no 1" in the Aircel-Maxis case involving approvals from FIPB or the Foreign Investment Promotion Board that were allegedly illegal. He and his son Karti were named in a charge-sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
Chidambaram, 73, is accused of misusing his office as finance minister in the Congress government of Dr Manmohan Singh to clear foreign investment deals in exchange for which his son, Karti Chidambaram, was given kickbacks.
Investigators say that Chidambaram violated laws by sanctioning a Rs. 3,500-crore deal that saw Malaysia's Maxis buying telecom company Aircel in 2006. Investigators said Aircel Televentures Limited paid Rs. 26 lakh allegedly to a company linked to Karti Chidambaram. Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings -- a subsidiary of Maxis -- had sought approval to invest in Aircel.
The investment should have been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by the Prime Minister, but was instead signed off by the finance ministry, which only has the power to sanction smaller investments.
After the approval, Aircel Televentures Limited paid Rs. 26 lakh allegedly to a company linked to Karti Chidambaram.
The former minister asserts that all investment approvals granted during his tenure were above board and that he is being framed because he is one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.
Karti Chidambaram, 46, was arrested in February on charges of money-laundering but was granted bail. Both father and son were questioned by the Enforcement Directorate.