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Aircel-Maxis case: CBI informs Delhi court it has procured sanction to prosecute Chidambaram

The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in grant of FIPB approval in Aircel-Maxis deal, while the ED is probing alleged money-laundering related to the deal.

PTI | New Delhi |

The CBI Monday informed a Delhi court that it has procured the requisite sanction from the authorities concerned to prosecute former Union minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The court however extended till December 18 the protection granted to Chidambaram and his son Karti from arrest after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said it needed two weeks to get sanction against other accused in the case.

The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in grant of FIPB approval in Aircel-Maxis deal, while the ED is probing alleged money-laundering related to the deal.

Earlier in November, Delhi court extended interim protection from arrest granted to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti till November 26 in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

Special Judge O.P. Saini, while extending the interim protection from arrest of father and son, also listed for further hearing Chidambaram’s anticipatory bail plea.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on Wednesday requested the court to reject the anticipatory bail plea of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case and pressed for his custodial interrogation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED are investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

The ED on October 25 filed a charge-sheet in the case naming Chidambaram and a few others.

The CBI on July 19 filed a charge sheet against 18 persons in the case, including the former Finance Minister and Karti.

On August 29, 2014, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, as Minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman T.A. Ananda Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.

Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Krishnan-owned Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, Maxis made investments through Astro Network, a sister concern, in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL), stated to be owned by the Maran family.

However, a special court had dropped charges against Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the alleged kickback of Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying the “perception or suspicion” was not backed by concrete evidence.