Chidambaram, son charged by ED for money laundering

P. Chidambaram. Credit: IndiaToday

Former union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been named as accused in another chargesheet filed in the Rs. 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis case. The senior Congress leader, named as accused number 1 in the chargesheet, has been accused of money laundering. The case will be considered by the Delhi court on November 26.

The 72-year-old former minister and his son have denied any wrongdoing and attributed the cases to political vendetta by the NDA government.

Karti Chidambaram’s accountant Bhaskar Raman is also among the nine persons named in the additional chargesheet.

The Central Bureau of Investigation says that as the finance minister in the government of Dr Manmohan Singh, Mr Chidambaram had misused his office to clear foreign investment deals, for which his son Karti Chidambaram was given kickbacks.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have been investigating case, which involves the foreign investment clearance granted in 2006 for the Aircel-Maxis deal.

According to the CBI, the Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings — a subsidiary of Maxis — sought approval for an investment of 800 million dollars in Aircel.

The approval was expected to come from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs or CCEA, headed by the Prime Minister.

But instead, it came from the finance ministry, which only has the power to approve investments of smaller sums, upto Rs. 600 crore. At the time, Mr Chidambaram was Finance Minister in the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.

The agency alleged that after the approval was received, Aircel Televentures Limited paid Rs.26 lakh to a company linked to Karti Chidambaram.

Mr Chidambaram and his son have been given immunity from arrest till November 1 by a Delhi court.