The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed a new chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis case at Delhi’s Patiala House Court against 18 people, including former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram. The chargesheet names retired as well as serving government officials, ANI reported.
The case pertains to clearances that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted to the firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel in 2006. P Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time. His son, Karti Chidambaram, who is also under investigation, allegedly facilitated bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The investigative agency is looking into “the circumstances” in which P Chidambaram, in his capacity as finance minister, approved the investment.
The CBI, in its new chargesheet, said it has discovered two sets of money trails in connection with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance. The court will take cognisance of the chargesheet on July 31.
However, P Chidambaram claimed that the CBI was pressurised to file a chargesheet against him “to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation”. “The case is now before the court and will be contested vigorously. I shall make no more public comment,” he said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that the chargesheet will meet “the same fate” as other chargesheets the central agency had filed. “Remember what happened to the 2G case? It all resulted in acquittal,” he told reporters. “The same thing will happen here.”
Last week, the court extended till August 7 the interim protection from arrest granted to P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the money laundering case. On June 5, the Enforcement Directorate recorded the Congress leader’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Chidambaram claimed that he was being investigated even though a First Information Report had not been registered against him.