Patiala House court extends interim protection for P Chidambaram and Karti in the Aircel-Maxis case, again

Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation has been demanding custodial interrogation for the former finance minister in the case for a long time.

Patiala House Court has again extended interim protection to Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation has been demanding custodial interrogation for the former finance minister in the case for a long time. Special CBI Judge O P Saini, on 11 January, had extended the protection ’till February 1 and had also scheduled the hearing on the same date. However, citing his absence on February 1, judge constituted the hearing today and extended protection to father-son duo ’till February 18.

As per reports, in another development, the Supreme Court has asked the ED to inform it about the dates on which they want to interrogate Karthi Chidambaram by Wednesday. Karthi has reportedly sought permission to travel abroad from February 21 to 28.

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The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in grant of FIPB approval in Aircel-Maxis deal, while the ED is probing alleged money-laundering related to the deal. It is accused that Chidambaram misused his capacity as finance minister in the UPA government to illegally grant FIPB approvals to Malaysia based firm Maxis for buying Indian telecom company Aircel for ₹3,500 crore in 2006 and in exchange his son, Karti Chidambaram was given kickbacks. The CBI had obtained permission to prosecute Chidambaram in November 2018.

The father-son duo is not only getting cornered in Aircel-Maxis scam, but also in the similar scandal of INX media case. Both P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram are accused in the INX Media scam which involves charges of bribery and lobbying in granting foreign investments worth Rs 300 crores to INX Media (Now, known as NewsX), which was owned by Peter and Indrani Mukherjee of the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. He was grilled by ED in the case, earlier this month.

On January 25 in the case, CBI had opposed his anticipatory bail plea and demanded his custody. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the High Court that custodial interrogation of Congress leader is necessary as he was not cooperating in the probe and had given false information during his questioning by the agency.


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