Delhi court extends interim protection to P. Chidambaram, son

New Delhi


A Delhi court on Thursday extended till August 9 the interim protection granted to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son and Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel Maxis case.

District and Sessions Judge O.P. Saini posted the bail arguments for August 9 and will take cognisance of the chargesheet on August 19.

During the hearing, senior advocate Sonia Mathur and Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED and CBI respectively, sought adjournment of the matter.

Opposing it, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Chidambarams, said: "What is bonafide, how many adjournments have they taken already?"

The agencies responded: "Every adjournment was taken through proper process of law and applications were filed for each of them."

Sibal said: "Karti Chidambaram was called for questioning 8 times in 2018 and 4 times in 2019 before ED. While in the CBI case, he appeared for questioning in 2014 and on September 18 and 26 in 2017. 

"Not called for questioning thereafter. Chargesheet filed in July 2018 and he was named. Investigation is complete," Sibal said.

Sibal added: "P. Chidambaram has only been called once by the CBI in 2014. Chargesheet has been filed and investigation is complete. While in the ED case, we filed anticipatory bail. Two replies filed: one in July and the other in October. Interim protection from arrest been granted. He has been called four times by ED in 2018.

"He was named only in the second ED complaint," Sibal added.

Karti Chidambaram added through Sibal: "I am willing to enjoy their hospitality. In ED I have appeared 10 times and will appear again as and well called."

Sibal also said that there were no allegations of his clients tampering with evidence. Both were parliamentarians, all records were documented and there was no allegation that they have approached anyone.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED are investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal when his father was the Union Finance Minister in 2006.

The Aircel Maxis case emerged out of the 2G spectrum cases, pertaining to a grant of FIPB approval to firm M/S Global Communication and Services Holdings Ltd, Mauritius, for investment in Aircel.

The FIPB approval was allegedly granted in 2006 when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister. According to the rules and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy of the government, Chidambaram was only empowered to give approval to proposals involving a foreign investment amount of up to Rs 600 crore. IANS