New Delhi:In a significant development, the CBI on Monday told a Delhi court that it had obtained the requisite sanction from the authorities to prosecute former Union minister P. Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case.
The special CBI court, which further extended the protection from arrest for Mr Chidambaram and his son Karti till December 18, also granted three weeks to the investigative agency to get sanction to prosecute some others accused in the case. Special CBI judge O.P. Saini posted the next date of hearing on December 18.
There are a total of 18 accused in the case. Besides Mr Chidambaram, sanction is required for the prosecution of five public servants. Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta submitted on behalf of the CBI that “the competent authority in the Central government has accorded sanction for the prosecution of accused P. Chidambaram under Section 197 CrPC and Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Sanction for prosecution in respect of the remaining accused public servants (five) are still awaited,” he said, seeking two more weeks to get this. The CBI said the court’s refusal to grant more time to obtain the sanction for the other accused “in a matter pertaining to such a serious offence may frustrate the cause of justice”.
It added: “In view of the facts and circumstances stated above, it is most humbly and respectfully prayed that the prosecution sanction received from the competent authority in respect of P. Chidambaram may kindly be taken on record, and a further time may be given to file sanction for prosecution in respect of the remaining accused public servants.” On behalf of the Enforcement Directorate in a related money-laundering case, Mr Mehta orally told the court that the accused “misled the agency and made false statements... (and) suppressed information about bank accounts in other countries and the money received from various sources”
The ED, also represented by special public prosecutors N.K. Matta and Nitesh Rana, told the court: “Custodial interrogation is required since various new materials have surfaced after filing of the chargesheet.”
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Mr Chidambaram, requested the court to extend the former Union minister’s protection from arrest, as well as of his son and co-accused Karti, in both cases filed by the CBI and the ED. The father-son duo had recently denied the allegations of both agencies that they were evasive and non-cooperative during the probe in the case, and said the allegations against them were “unsubstantiated” and there was no need of their custodial interrogation.