The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with a petition challenging their anticipatory bail in the Aircel-Maxis case, PTI reported.
The Enforcement Directorate had on Thursday filed the challenge in the Delhi High Court. P Chidambaram has been lodged in Tihar jail since September 5 in connection with the INX Media case.
Justice Suresh Kait issued notices to the two Congress leaders and posted the matter for hearing on November 29. The agency said that the special court in Delhi, which had told the father and son to join the investigation and granted them anticipatory bail on September 5, failed to appreciate that custodial interrogation of the accused was needed.
The lower court had also said that the charges against the two were not grave as the amount allegedly laundered was only Rs 1.13 crore. This, the Enforcement Directorate told the Delhi High Court, was perverse and untenable in law. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the ED had filed separate cases in the matter, and the lower court had granted them bail in both cases.
The Aircel-Maxis case pertains to clearances that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board granted to the firm Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in telecom company Aircel in 2006. P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister at the time and Karti Chidambaram, who is a parliamentarian at present, allegedly facilitated the payment of bribes in the Aircel-Maxis transaction.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a money laundering angle, is inquiring why Chidambaram approved the investment when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs can give green signal for such deals.