Subramanian Swamy had earlier approached the SC alleging that Chidambaram had illegally granted clearance for the foreign investment deal.

Chidambarams role in Aircel-Maxis deal being probed CBI tells Supreme CourtPTI
news Aircel Maxis Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - 11:42

The 2006 Aircel-Maxis deal continues to haunt former Union Minister P Chidambaram, as the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Supreme Court on Monday that it was probing all angles in the case, including clearances given by Chidambaram for the deal.

Appearing on behalf of the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made this submission in response to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had approached the court earlier alleging that Chidambaram had illegally given Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to Maxis to acquire Aircel.

On Monday, Swamy made a submission to the two-judge bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud that he had received a letter from the CBI confirming that a probe against Chidambaram is being undertaken. He asked the court to direct the CBI to submit a status report on the probe.

The court gave the CBI three weeks to file the status report, and posted the case for further hearing on May 2. It also received the status report from the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering aspect of the case, in a sealed cover.

Swamy’s petition alleged that Chidambaram had not followed procedure in giving FIPB clearance for the case. Since the money transaction in the deal was worth Rs 3,500 crore, Swamy submitted, it should have been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which is the sole agency with the power to approve foreign investment over Rs 600 crore, but this was not done.

Swamy has alleged that in exchange for the FIPB clearance, Malaysian company Maxis had paid a bribe to Chidambaram’s son Karti, through a number of companies.

On Tuesday morning, Karti posted a statement from P Chidambaram on his Twitter account, which said that the former Finance Minister had not indulged in any irregularities in giving approval to the deal. “CBI has recorded statements from every official who dealt with the case. Everyone, including the then Secretary and the Additional Secretary, has affirmed that the case was rightly submitted to the Finance Minister who was the competent authority to grant approval and that the approval was granted in the normal course of business.”

Earlier in February, a Delhi court had cleared former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and businessman Kalanithi Maran of charges filed by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI in connection with the deal. 

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