Former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti have been charge sheeted by the CBI in the Aircel-Maxis case.
The CBI has alleged that his power and position as the finance minister of India was misused by Chidambaram by7 providing undue advantage to a business group.
For the former finance minister and Congress strongman, who is also under the scanner for his alleged role in the INX Media case, this is the first chargesheet against him.
The chargesheet also carries the names of senior officials of Aircel and Maxis. However, the CBI needs the court’s approval for the prosecution of the accused named in the charge sheet.
The CBI had been asked by the court to furnish solid evidence against the former finance minister. Replying to this, the investigating agency said that there was adequate evidence in its possession against Chidambaram.
In addition to Chidambaram and his son, 16 other people have bene named by the CBI in the chargesheet. According to the allegations in the chargesheet filed by the CBI, the position and power as a finance minister were used by Chidambaram to give away approvals from the Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Two money trails in the case have also been found out by CBI.
In a tweet just a few moments following the development, the former finance minister gave a strong and sharp reaction. In order to support the allegations against him, the CBI was being pressurized to file the charge sheet, he alleged.
He tweeted: “CBI has been pressured to file a charge sheet to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation. The case is now before the Hon’ble Court and it will be contested vigorously. I shall make no more public comment.”
On the other hand, the Congress alleged that its power and the agencies were being misused by the Centre.
Different cases for a single case are being registered multiple agencies, alleged senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. The real culprits in the case have fled country, Sharma said.
“Let the courts decide the case and Mr Chidambaram has every right to defend himself,” said Sharma.
“They have been doing this for the last four years but they aren’t able to silence the Opposition’s voice and in a democracy they will never be able to muzzle our voice,” said Anand Sharma.
Money laundering is that core of the Aircel-Maxis case. It is alleged that approval for a foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs 3,500 crore was granted by Chidambaram by bypassing protocols and using his power and position as the then finance minister. Malaysia-based Maxis had made the investment in the now-defunct Indian operator Aircel.
According to the allegations of the investigating agencies, Advantage Strategic Consulting was made a payment of Rs 26 lakh by Aircel. It is alleged that Karti is linked to Advantage Strategic Consulting. The money was given within a few days after the foreign direct approvals were granted by Chidambaram.
(Adapted from IndiaToday.in)