New Delhi: Special Court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in both ED and CBI cases in Aircel-Maxis matter. Special judge OP Saini said the two would be released on Rs 1 lakh bail bond in case any of the two agencies arrested them in this case.
P Chidambaram is already in CBI custody in connection with INX media case.
In a 28-page order, judge OP Saini said he had accounted for the time gap between the commission of the alleged offence and the application and “unexplained delay in investigation” in reaching the decision to grant anticipatory bail. The judge concluded there was no possibility of Chidambaram and his son tampering with evidence, threatening witnesses, fleeing or committing a similar crime again, reported Hindustan Times.
“I am satisfied that it is a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail,” Saini ruled.
The Aircel Maxis case refers to a 2006 investment in Indian telco Aircel Ltd by Malaysia’s Maxis Communications which, the CBI says, was in violation of the then prevailing foreign investments laws.
CBI alleged that P Chidambaram had cleared investment of USD 800 million (over Rs 3,500 crore) in Aircel by Maxis though the Cabinet committee on economic affairs was the competent authority to grant such approval. This was done by saying it merely involved an investment of Rs 180 crore.
Investigators alleged that Aircel had paid around Rs 26 lakh to Advantage Strategic Consulting Private (ASCPL) Limited on April 11, 2006. The CBI alleged that ASCPL was controlled by Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, according to Hindustan Times.
Investigators have also alleged that another company of Karti Chidambaram, Chess Management Services Private Limited received $200,000 from Malaysian companies such as Bumi Armada Berhad and Astro All Asia Networks Plc, all connected with Maxis, between 2007 and 2012.