In a huge blow to former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader, P Chidambaram has been named as an accused in the Aircel Maxis case. This after a supplementary chargesheet was filed before special CBI judge OP Saini naming him. His son Karti Chidambaram along with 16 others, including serving and retired government officials have also been named in the chargesheet.
The Patiala House Court is set to take cognisance of the matter on July 31.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are already investigating Karti Chidambaram's alleged role in getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister. According to the reports, the 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 headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Instead it came from the Finance Ministry. This is despite the ministry having power to approve only investments of smaller sums, upto Rs 600 crore.
The agency alleged that after the approval was received, Aircel Televentures Limited paid over Rs 20 lakh to a firm linked to Karti.
The investigation agency has already charged Karti and two companies - Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) and Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd (CMSPL) under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002.
Karti has promoted the company CMSPL, the ED has said in the chargesheet. The Directorate has also alleged that ASCPL was set up at the directions of Karti.
Karti controlled and managed the affairs of the company, the ED said, citing internal emails where it shows that Karti was controlling each and every aspect of the company's business.
(With IANS inputs)