Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday accused the National Democratic Alliance-led government of misusing the Enforcement Directorate to target the Opposition. Earlier on Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at several locations with links to the former minister’s son, Karti Chidambaram, in Chennai and Delhi.
The searches were conducted in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. “Nothing was found,” the former finance minister said. “The panchanamas speak for themselves.”
There is no FIR against me or my son, P Chidambaram said. “The Supreme Court issued notices to the Enforcement Directorate in cases where the submission is that the ED has no jurisdiction to conduct any investigation in the so-called Aircel-Maxis case. The ED was asked to file its reply and the cases were adjourned to January 30,” the Congress leader said in his statement.
“I shall neither bend nor break and I shall continue to speak and write.”
The agency had carried out similar searches on December 1, 2017.
The case relates to the approvals the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when P Chidambaram was the finance minister. Karti Chidambaram is accused of facilitating bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The investigative agency is looking into “the circumstances” in which P Chidambaram, in his capacity as the finance minister then, had granted the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approvals.
The Aircel-Maxis deal is part of the much bigger 2G spectrum scam, which cost the country’s exchequer around Rs 1.76 trillion. Officials are looking into how telecom firm Aircel was sold to a Malaysian communication giant Maxis.
After the raids on Saturday, P Chidambaram said the agency raided their house in Delhi “in a comedy of errors”, thinking Karti Chidambaram lived there.