The Patiala House Court in Delhi on Friday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case till February 1. The court also adjourned the hearing in the matter till that date, reported ANI.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini extended the hearing after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation, told the court that the ongoing investigation was about to be completed, PTI reported. The court in December had granted the CBI time till January 11 to get sanctions to prosecute others accused in the case.
The case pertains to clearances that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted the firm 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.
On November 26, the Central Bureau of Investigation informed a court in Delhi that the central government has sanctioned the prosecution of Chidambaram in the case.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a money laundering angle in the case, is inquiring why Chidambaram approved the investment when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs can give the green signal for such deals. The investigating agencies have been pushing for Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation, citing that it is necessary as he has been evasive and non-cooperative with investigators.