New Delhi: It seems that former Union finance minister P Chidambaram will have tough days ahead as the enforcement directorate (ED) is all set to name him in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, sources claimed. 

The ED has questioned Chidambaram four times and quizzed his son as well in the case. Apart from the ED, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named Chidambaram and his son Karti in its charge sheet filed in July in a similar case.

According to the sources, the ED officials will file a charge sheet in this case before September 20. Apart from Chidambaram, his son may also be named in the charge sheet. Karti has already been questioned twice by the ED in this case.

Chidambaram was questioned by the ED last week as well. Officials wanted to know the procedures adopted and followed by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which was abolished last year. The FIPB was under the finance ministry when the UPA was in power.

The Aircel-Maxis case is related to the clearance granted by the FIPB to M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd in 2006 for investment in Aircel.

Later, the Supreme Court directed the CBI and ED to finish their probes into the 2G spectrum allocation case, which also includes this case, in six months.

While the ED is probing the monetary part, CBI has already finished its probe, covering all angles, including criminal offence.

Earlier, the agency had said that the FIPB had granted approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case in March 2006 under Chidambaram's direction, even when he was competent to accord the approval for project proposals worth up to Rs 600 crore. Proposals worth more than this amount required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). 

“In the instant case, the approval for FDI of $800 million (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, the CCEA was competent to grant the approval. 

"However, the approval was not obtained from the CCEA," the ED alleged. 

The CBI charge sheet named 16 other co-accused, including former finance secretaries Ashok Chawla, Ashok Jha, former Aircel CEO V Srinivasanand, Maxis owners T Ananda Krishnan and Ralph Marshal and others, along with Chidambram and his son.

Chidambaram had already said that the government agencies are harassing his son. “In Aircel-Maxis, the FIPB recommended and I approved minutes. The CBI should question me and not harass Karti Chidambaram,” Chidambaram said.