Chidambaram uncooperative, case needs custodial interrogation: ED tells court

ED submitted before the court that Chidambaram has been uncooperative and evasive in his response.

Seeking custodial interrogation of former UPA minister P Chidambaram, the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday opposed the anticipatory bail plea of the minister in the Aircel-Maxis case in a Delhi court today.

The ED which filed its case in the Delhi court cited in its appeal that P Chidambaram was uncooperative in the probe and had remained evasive in his answers.

Special judge OP Saini will be hearing Chidambaram’s plea on Thursday. On October 8, the court had extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis case filed by the CBI and the ED till November 1. Chidambaram had filed the appeal for protection from arrest in the ED case on May 30 this year after which he got relief from the court on various occasions.

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During CBI’s probe into 2G spectrum case, the details of Aircel- Maxis deal surfaced which subsequently lead to revealing how Congress leader, P Chidambaram, who was the finance minister in 2006, allegedly granted a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to a foreign firm when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do it. ED has alleged that a payment of Rs 26 lakhs was made by Aircel Televentures Ltd to ASCPL, allegedly linked to P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram for an approval.

The CBI had earlier named P Chidambaram, his son Karti and 16 others in relation to alleged criminal misconduct related to approvals of investment deals. The CBI had also accused him as ‘willful lawbreaker’ in its charge sheet filed in July.

The Enforcement Directorate on October 25 had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, accusing him of conspiring with foreign investors to clear their venture. Chidambaram is accused of violating FIPB norms in the INX media case too. The ED has also been investigating the involvement of Chidambaram in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore.

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