Provide proof against P Chidambaram: SC to Swamy

The Asian Age.  | J Venkatesan

India, All India

Swamy told the bench that the CBI had initiated a preliminary inquiry into the alleged role of Chidambaram

Former finance minister P. Chidambaram (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked BJP MP Subramanian Swamy to produce concrete evidence and materials if he wants a probe into the role of former finance minister P. Chidambaram in granting clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices N.V. Ramana and D.Y. Chandrachud told Mr Swamy to “must give us concrete materials if you want us to seek the response of the CBI”. “You must show that he (Mr Chidambaram) had the knowledge of everything while FIPB clearance was granted,” the court said.

Mr Swamy told the bench that the CBI had initiated a preliminary inquiry into the alleged role of Mr Chidambaram, who too was questioned, but no further action had been taken. He wanted further probe based on the conclusions arrived at in the status report of the two investigative agencies.

In his application the BJP MP said he had sought a CBI probe into the role of Mr Chidambaram in the alleged illegal clearances to the deal by the FIPB of which Mr Chidambaram was ex-officio chairman. Mr Swamy said the FIPB clearance on March 7, 2006 was illegally approved by Mr Chidambaram. Since the deal was over and above Rs 600 crore, it ought to have been placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs by the then finance minister.

This was never done. Thus, there was never a legal clearance by the FIPB for the deal. Thus, Mr. Chidambaram enabled pecuniary benefit to Maxis and prima facie committed a crime under Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and hence ought to be interrogated and charge-sheeted, Mr Swamy claimed.