Big Development in Aircel Maxis Case!!! ED files Charge-sheet against Karti Chidambaram and four others

In a latest development to the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today filed first ever chargesheet in the cases linked to Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram in Delhi’s Patiala House Court.

The agency accuses Karti Chidambaram of fraud and also expose his links with various individuals and companies involved in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval given to the Aircel-Maxis deal. It also alleged that Mr Karti was in the process of alienating the property involved in the money laundering in order to frustrate the proceedings under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The following charges has been framed against him

Charge 1 : Used his influence to get a deceitful proposal cleared by Ministry Of Finance

Charge 2 : Received Rs 3.5 crore as kickbacks for influencing Ministry Of Finance Officials

The charges are also levelled against violating the rules of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Apart from Karti, the agency has also named Advantage Strategic Consultancies Private Limited and its directors Padma Bhaskararamana and Ravi Viswanathan, and Chess Management Services Pvt. Ltd. and its director Annamalai Palaniappa in the charge sheet under section 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED has also mentioned the name of Mr P. Chidambaram at various places in the charge sheet. However, he has not been arrayed as an accused in the probe report submitted by the agency before Additional Sessions Judge Ruby Alka Gupta. But the chargesheet raised direct questions that how the former Finance minister has cleared the proposal when it was very clear that the proposal is not competent.

The ED has also earlier said that the FIPB approval granted in 2006 by Chidambaram was beyond his mandate as he was only authorised to accord approval on project proposals up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that, it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from CCEA.

BJP senior leader, Dr Subramanian Swamy said that the charge-sheet should have been filed much earlier, but due to some officers in the ED who were trying to help Chidambaram, the process got delayed.

He said,

“This should have been done much earlier but few officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation were helping Chidambaram, even a few ministers were helping him, but now the Prime Minister has stopped all these. The CBI and the ED have been asked not to entertain any interference from anyone and take their own decisions.”

“After the chargesheet will be filed against Karti, another will be issued against Chidambaram. Chidambaram will again have to appear before the ED, he keeps on lying but gets caught.”

The court has now posted the matter to July 4 for consideration of the charge sheet. The ED has already attached Karti’s assets in connection with the case and the PMLA adjudicating authority has upheld that action. Special Public Prosecutors Nitesh Rana and N.K. Matta, appearing for the ED, told the court that a total of ₹1.16 crore allegedly belonging to Mr Karti, has been attached by the agency.

Karti was arrested on February 28 at the Chennai airport following his return from the United Kingdom, in connection with his alleged role in the case. He was subsequently granted bail. If court takes cognisance of this chargesheet, Karti would be judicially charged as an accused

Source : Times Now

The Hindu