In Aircel-Maxis case, Chidambaram named as accused in chargesheet
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday named former Union Minister P Chidambaram as accused no. 1 in the Aircel-Maxis case. The senior Congress leader's son Karti and his accountant Bhaskar Raman were also mentioned in the chargesheet. The agency named nine people in the chargesheet and CBI special judge OP Saini has fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet. Here's more.
Backstory: What is the controversial Aircel-Maxis case
In 2006, Malaysia-based Maxis Communication bought 74% stake in Indian telecom company Aircel. The then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had given the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Rs. 3,500 crore deal to go through.
Chidambaram abused his powers as Finance Minister, ED finds
The ED claimed as Finance Minister, Chidambaram had power to approve foreign investment up to Rs. 600 crore, and for any amount above that he needed to run it through Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs. The agency's said it was "wrongly projected as an investment of Rs. 180 crore so that it need not be sent to the CCEA to avoid a detailed scrutiny".
SC ordered agencies to finish probe in six months
Notably, on March 12 this year, the Supreme Court ordered agencies, CBI and ED, to complete investigation in 2G spectrum allocation cases, including the Aircel Maxis alleged money laundering case, in six months. The ED said charges were filed after investigating emails on Karti Chidambaram's digital devices. It alleged crimes were committed in the guise of business between Maxis group and Karti's companies.
Chidambarams have denied charges, called it political vendetta
Facing charges of corruption, Chidambaram has cried conspiracy. He alleged political vendetta by NDA government. The father-son duo has been given immunity from arrest by a Delhi Court till November 1.