The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday told a court in Delhi that it is opposed to the anticipatory bail petition of former Union minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case, PTI reported. Special judge OP Saini will hear Chidambaram’s bail plea on Thursday.
The agency sought Chidambaram’s custody so that he can be interrogated and said granting him anticipatory bail would “vitiate the investigation”, according to ANI. The directorate claimed that the senior Congress leader was not cooperating with the inquiry and has been evasive.
On October 8, the court had extended till November 1 the interim protection from arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate granted to Chidambaram and his son. The former minister had filed the plea for protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on May 30 and has has been granted relief by the court on several occasions.
The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a chargesheet against 18 people, including P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, in July. The chargesheet named retired as well as serving government officials. The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy, seeking illegal gratification, and criminal misconduct under various sections.
On October 25, the Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet in connection with the case, naming P Chidambaram as the prime accused.
The case pertains to clearances that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted the firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel in 2006. Chidambaram was the finance minister at the time and Karti Chidambaram allegedly facilitated the payment of bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction. The Enforcement Directorate is looking into why Chidambaram approved the investment when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs can give the green signal for such deals.