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Aircel-Maxis: Delhi court grants time till May 4 to CBI, ED to complete probe

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

Former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram (file photo)

A Delhi court, on Thursday, granted time till May 4 to the CBI and ED to complete probe in the Aircel-Maxis matter against former Union Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.

The Enforcement Directorate told Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar that Letters Rogatory (LRs) have been sent to four countries and their response were awaited in connection with the case. LR is issued by courts on the request of an investigation agency when it wants information from another country.

On February 14, the ED had filed a status report of investigation in the cases and said that active investigation into the matter was going on, while the CBI had stated that LR has been sent to Malaysia and the response is awaited. The CBI status report had stated that LR had been sent to Malaysia and there were developments in the case.

The court had on January 28 “revived” the Aircel-Maxis cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate against Chidambaram and his son that were earlier adjourned ‘sine die’. The case was adjourned ‘sine die’ -- without fixing any date for hearing -- on September 5 last year with the court noting that the two probe agencies were seeking "adjournment after adjournment".

The trial court took up the matter on its own on January 28 and sought the status report from the CBI and the ED. They, however, sought more time and the court granted them two weeks.

The court had also granted anticipatory bail to the father-son duo. It has been challenged in the Delhi High Court, which will hear the matter on March 4.

The probe agencies were investigating how Karti Chidambaram received clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union finance minister.

The CBI and the ED had alleged that P Chidambaram, as finance minister during the United Progressive Alliance rule, granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefitting certain persons, and received kickbacks.

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Published on February 20, 2020
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