The Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Tuesday granted two months to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to obtain the necessary sanction to prosecute some of the accused in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was named an accused in the Aircel Maxis case, on July 19. A supplementary chargesheet was filed before special CBI judge OP Saini naming him. His son Karti Chidambaram and 16 others, including serving and retired government officials, were also named in the chargesheet.
Senior advocate Sonia Mathur, who appeared on behalf of the CBI, told Special CBI Judge OP Saini that the CBI was expecting the sanctions for prosecution from the authorities concerned, in four weeks.
Following this, Saini adjourned the hearing for October 1.
The CBI and the ED are investigating Chidambaram and Karti’s alleged roles in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Aircel-Maxis deal.
According to reports, Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings, which is a subsidiary of Maxis, sought approval for an investment of 800 million dollars in telecom carrier Aircel.
The approval was reportedly expected to come from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), which was headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Instead, it came from the Finance Ministry, which was then headed by P Chidambaram. This is despite the ministry having the power to approve only investments of smaller sums of up to Rs 600 crore.
According to a chargesheet filed by the CBI earlier in the case against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran, Chidambaram provided an FIPB clearance in March 2006 to Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd.
In the INX Media case, the senior Congressman is being investigated for allegedly taking money to facilitate Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007 when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.