Aircel-Maxis case: Chidambaram says approval given to FIPB proposal 'in normal course of business'

Former finance minister P Chidambaram has reiterated that the approval given to Aircel-Maxis deal by him was after FIPB submitted the case to him after taking into account the face value of the investment.

"FIPB consists of five secretaries to the Government of India. They examine the cases and recommend approval or rejection. They apply the rules/guidelines and submit each case to the CCEA or the Finance Minister depending on the value of the investment," he said in a statement.

As the finance minister he granted the approval to Aircel-Maxis deal after the FIPB vetted the investment and submitted the case to him. "As FM, I granted the approval in the normal course of business," his statement said.

He also reiterated that the CBI has recorded statements from every official who dealt with the case.


"Everyone, including the then secretary and the Additional Secretary, has affirmed that the case was rightly submitted to the Finance Minister who was the competent authority to grant approval and that the approval was granted in the normal course of business," he said in the statement

Senior Congress leader P Chidambram. Agencies

Senior Congress leader P Chidambram. Agencies

The clarification from Chidamabram comes in response to media reports that BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has told a Supreme Court bench that the CBI has told him that it was probing "all angles", including the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to the deal allegedly by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2006.

Swamy said the CBI should be asked to file a status report in the case.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the CBI to file a report detailing the status of probe being carried out on various aspects of the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also filed in a sealed cover the status report of its ongoing investigation in the money laundering case relating to the deal before a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The bench deferred the hearing by three weeks on the request made by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was not available.


Later, Swamy told reporters outside the courtroom that he has provided all the information to the agencies regarding the alleged money transfer to Karti Chidambaram's purported foreign bank accounts by the beneficiaries of the deal.

In his application, Swamy has alleged that Chidambaram had illegally granted FIPB clearance to Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006.

He has claimed that the then finance minister had given FIPB clearance to the deal which should have been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by the Prime Minister, as the CCEA alone was empowered to clear foreign investments over Rs 600 crore.

"The money transaction involved in the process was around Rs 3,500 crore. FIPB clearance was given by the then finance minister, who should have sent it to the CCEA as the investment was way over Rs 600 crore," he had said.

He had referred to CBI charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis deal case and said that the agency had said that the Finance Minister was competent to give approval of upto Rs 600 crore.

A special court had discharged former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his industralist brother Kalanithi Maran and others who were chargesheeted by the CBI and ED in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case and a money-laundering matter relating to the deal.

With PTI


Published Date: Apr 04, 2017 12:31 pm | Updated Date: Apr 04, 2017 12:31 pm



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