New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday granted seven weeks to the CBI to obtain sanction to prosecute former Union minister P. Chidambaram and other serving or former public servants in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
The court pulled up the agency for filing the charge sheet without proper sanction and told the CBI that if the required documents are not filed by November 26, the next day of hearing, the court may take appropriate action.
Special judge O.P. Saini said: “You (CBI) should not have filed the charge sheet. It is only increasing the pendency of the court. A lot of time of the court has been wasted due to this.”
The investigating agency had on July 19 filed a charge sheet against the Congress leader, his son Karti, 10 individuals including public servants and six companies as accused in the case.
The court allowed the CBI’s request for grant of some time after senior advocate Sonia Mathur, representing the agency, informed the judge that sanctions are awaited.
The judge said: “If the sanction is not received, appropriate actions will be taken.” Ms Mathur said, “Granting of sanction is under active consideration of the government.”
Mr Chidambaram’s name is among the persons against whom sanction for prosecution from authorities concerned was awaited. The court also adjour-ned a money laundering case, which is an off-shoot of the Aircel-Maxis deal case, against Karti and others, after Ms Mathur and lawyers N.K. Matta and Nitesh Rana requested an adjournment on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had on July 13 filed a charge sheet again-st Karti and others for the alleged offence of money laundering. However, the former Union minister was not arrayed as an acc-used in the case. In the case filed by CBI, Ms Mathur told the court that the agency was expecting sanctions for prosecution from authorities concern-ed in about four weeks.
The counsel told the court that there were serving public servants and some retired ones against whom the sanctions would be needed before proceeding with their prosecution in the case. The CBI had filed the charge sheet for the alleged offences of cri-minal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), public servant taking illegal gratification, punishment for abetting this offence and public se-rvant committing criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act. If convicted, the offe-nces entail a maximum punishment of seven years.