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Congress leader P Chidambaram charged as accused no. 1 in Aircel-Maxis case

The Enforcement Directorate, which named the former minister as accused no. 1 in the charge sheet, has named eight other accused in the case including S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: October 25, 2018 23:13 IST
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Congress leader P Chidambaram charged as accused no. 1 in Aircel-Maxis case

Former union minister P Chidambaram has been named as accused in another charge sheet filed in the Rs. 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis case. The Congress leader, along with his son Karti Chidambaram, has been accused of money laundering. 

The Enforcement Directorate, which named the former minister as accused no. 1 in the charge sheet, has named eight other accused in the case including S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies. 

In a statement, the senior Congress leader said the CBI has already filed a charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case.

"The ED has now filed a complaint in the same case. If and when summons are issued by the honourable court, the cases will be contested. I will not make any other public comment," he said.

CBI Special Judge OP Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet.

ED had filed the first charge sheet in the case against Chidambaram's son Karti; later, a supplementary charge sheet was also filed against him.

The nine accused named by the agency in the case are: Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman (chartered accountant of Karti), V Srinivasan (former CEO of Aircel), Augustus Ralph Marshall (associated with Maxis), Astro All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia, Aircel Televentures Ltd, Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd, Bumi Armada Berhad, Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd.

They are accused of money laundering of Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of illegal FIFB approval by the former minister in March 2006, given to the foreign investor Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius in violation of the various rules and regulations governing the FDI policy in India.

"As per rules and FDI policy of Government of India in 2006, Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister was empowered to give approval of the foreign investment to the proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited should have been referred to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not done and approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy," said the ED, filing the second supplementary charge sheet.

It said the charge sheet is based on adequate material evidences which are in the form of email communications retrieved from the seized digital devices from Karti and his associates. 

The material evidences reveal routing of proceeds of crime in the guise of bonafide business deals by the beneficiaries of illegal FIPB approval in the companies of Karti. The investigation has revealed the financial linkage of Karti Chidambaram and P Chidambaram with these companies, it said.

"Their are contradictory and evasive responses, in spite of that ED has collected materials that is corroboratory statements recorded under Section 50 of the PMLA from various persons during the investigation to substantiate the offence of money laundering," ED said.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed against Karti on June 13 which claimed that he controlled two firms which allegedly received Rs 1.16 crore as bribe money in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. 

Advocates NK Matta and Nitesh Rana appeared for the ED in the court.

(With inputs from agencies)

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