Aircel-Maxis case: After Karti's bail plea, ED accuses him of 'forum shopping'

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The allegation is that then Finance Minister P Chidambaram granted the approval without going to the CCEA.

Karti filed his plea seeking protection of arrest before Special Judge O P Saini in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have lodged cases in 2011 and 2012 respectively. (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accused former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti of "forum shopping". The investigation agency said that Karti has approached multiple courts through multiple applications in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case.

The allegation is that then Finance Minister P Chidambaram granted the approval without going to the CCEA.

However, counsel appearing for Karti Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal asked how the then finance minister’s approval being valid or not had any relation with Karti.

Hours after being granted bail by the Delhi High Court in the INX media case, Karti Chidambaram on Friday filed anticipatory bail pleas in a city court in cases relating to the alleged irregularities in FIPB clearance to a company in Aircel-Maxis matter arising out of the 2G spectrum cases. 

Karti filed his plea seeking protection of arrest before Special Judge O P Saini in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have lodged cases in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The matter pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel.

The CBI had in August 2014 filed a charge sheet against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and six others, including four firms for the alleged offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI is probing how the then finance minister (Chidambaram himself) had granted Foreign Investement Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to a deal involving a foreign firm when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do so.

The CBI had claimed that M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd had sought FIPB approval for USD 800 million for which only the CCEA was competent, but Chidambaram had given approval to the firm in March 2006.

(With PTI inputs)

Read more...