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Aircel-Maxis deal: Chidambaram asks CBI to question him instead of ‘harassing’ his son Karti

Karti Chidambaram was called by the CBI on Thursday for questioning in connection with the foreign investment clearance given in the Aircel-Maxis deal of 2006 when his father was the Finance Minister.

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [Updated:15 Sep 2017, 3:52 PM IST]
P Chidambaram
P Chidambaram

Accusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of spreading misinformation in Aircel-Maxis case, former Union Minister P Chidambaram today asked the probe agency to question him instead of harassing his son Karti Chidambaram in this case.

Karti Chidambaram was called by the CBI on Thursday for questioning in connection with the foreign investment clearance given in the Aircel-Maxis deal of 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister in the cabinet of Dr Manmohan Singh.

Karti, however, refused to appear before the CBI and pointed out that a special court had discharged all the accused and terminated proceedings in the matter.

The CBI, on the other hand, rejected Karti's claim and maintained that the investigation was still on in this case. 

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram today pointed out that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) officials had told the CBI that the approval given was valid.

“Sad CBI spreading misinformation. In Aircel-Maxis, FIPB officials have recorded statements before CBI that approval given was valid,” Chidambaram tweeted.

"In Aircel-Maxis, FIPB recommended and I approved minutes. CBI should question me and not harass Karti Chidambaram,” he added.

The CBI in its charge-sheet submitted in a special court in 2014 said that Mauritius-based M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Maxis, had sought approval for an investment of $ 800 million (approx Rs 5,127 crore)  in Aircel.

According to CBI, the approval was granted by the then finance minister P Chidambaram overlooking the fact that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was competent to grant the approval in this case. 

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had also accused Chidambaram of violating the rules by giving approval in this case as the the CCEA, headed by the prime minister, alone was empowered to clear foreign investments of over Rs 600 crore.

Chidambaram, however, claimed in a statement this year that the FIPB approval was granted in the "normal course of business".