Economist and BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that in 2006 Karti Chidambaram, the son of then minister of finance P Chidambaram, through a company in his control had received 5% share of Aircel to get part of the $ 40 billion paid by Maxis Communications for the 74% share of Aircel, but can this be proved in a court of law?
New Delhi: The Delhi Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on anticipatory bail pleas of P Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram to November 1. The interim protection from arrest has been granted to Chidambaram and his son in the Aircel-Maxis case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
OP Saini, the special CBI Judge, has posted the matter for November 1 after the attorney appearing for agencies sought an adjournment in the matter. It's the same judge who had dismissed the case against A Raja and 18 others in the case of 2G spectrum scam.
Economist and BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had alleged that in 2006 Karti Chidambaram, the son of then Minister of Finance P Chidambaram, had, through a company in his control, received 5% share of Aircel to get part of the $ 40 billion paid by Maxis Communications for the 74% share of Aircel.
The issue was raised many times in Parliament by the opposition, which eventually led to Chidambaram's resignation.
In July 2018, the CBI named P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram as accused in its supplementary charge sheet, which sheet named 16 other accused, including former finance secretaries Ashok Chawla, Ashok Jha, former Aircel CEO V Srinivasan and, Maxis owners T Ananda Krishnan and Ralph Marshal.
On August 29, 2014, the CBI filed a charge sheet against Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall, Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan, six others and four firms (Maxis Communication Berhad,Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Astro All Asia Network PLC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd) as accused in the case.
On October 29, 2014, special CBI judge Saini said that he found enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution and hence summoned Dayanidhi Maran and several others as accused. But now the judge appears to take a lenient view of the culpability of Chidambaram's family, the order of October 10 suggests.
An accused is normally denied bail or offered an anticipatory bail when he or she is found not to be in a position to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. This was why Karti was denied bail in the case in March this year. The CBI had then successfully argued that Karti could play foul. The judge seems to now soften his stance.
Nalini Chidambaram, the former Union minister's wife, also was accused of mediating a dubious deal of purchase of a television channel between a leader of the INC, his wife and the chief accused in the Saradha Ponzi scheme.
Back in the Aircel-Maxis case, the ED named in January 2016 Kalanithi Maran’s wife Kavery Maran and three others, including two companies as-as accused in its charge sheet. The ED also summoned Ralph Marshall in Malaysia. Following the issue, the ED said that Dayanidhi Maran generated Rs 742.58 crore illegally and Kavery Kalanithi participated in money laundering.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against Chidambaram, his son Karti and 18 others after alleging that the former union minister “fraudulently and dishonestly” granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was authorized to do. The Congress leader’s role has now come under the radar of investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and in the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. Both Karti and Chidambaram have denied any wrong-doing.
The Maran brothers and other accused named in the CBI charge sheet were removed by the special court, after stating that the agency had failed to produce any material against them to proceed with the trial.
Additional Solicitor General Nitesh Rana and Tushar Mehta told the court that the agencies require time to file a detailed response and argue on the application filed through Chidambaram's lawyers, PK Dubey and Arshdeep Singh.
Chidambaram and his son Karti have denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.
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Last Updated Oct 8, 2018, 11:13 PM IST