A Delhi court on Thursday extended the interim protection to former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case till 1 August.
Special Judge O P Saini extended the protection after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought three-weeks' time to argue on their anticipatory bail plea, at which the lawyers appearing for Chidambarams requested for extension of interim protection granted to them earlier, reported PTI.
The agency said that its special director has gone to Singapore and it is to be seen if there would be any further development. The ED said they have details of the bank accounts which they are probing.
The father-son duo has been obtaining protection from arrest from the court ever since they were named in the charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal case last year.
On 6 May, the Delhi court granted Chidambaram and his son Karti interim protection from arrest in the case till 30 May, reported PTI.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the CBI and ED, requested an extension saying the agencies needed more time to complete the inquiry.
“We want to interrogate both the accused in custody after receiving the Letters Rogatory,” Mehta was quoted as saying. “They are fully protected by judicial order. Karti keeps filing applications to travel abroad to play tennis and he does not want to cooperate in the investigation. He is enjoying life,” he was quoted as saying by Scroll.in.
Numerous extensions from interim protection
Earlier, on 26 April, the Delhi court extended till 6 May the interim protection from arrest granted to the former Union minister and his son in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Special Judge O P Saini extended the interim relief to the Chidambarams and posted the matter on 6 May after the ED sought more time to gather evidence.
Similarly, on 25 March, the Delhi court had extended till 26 April the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and his son Karti in the case filed by the CBI and the ED.
On 8 March, the Delhi had extended till 25 March the interim protection from arrest granted to the Chidambarams in the Aircel-Maxis scam cases filed by the CBI and the ED, reported PTI.
Special Judge O P Saini adjourned the matter after senior advocate Sonia Mathur, appearing for the CBI, sought time to argue on their anticipatory bail applications.
On 25 March also, the Delhi court had extended till 26 April the interim protection from arrest granted to the former Union minister and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis case filed by the CBI and the ED, reported PTI.
In February, the court had extended till 8 March, 2019 the interim protection from arrest granted to the former Union and his from arrest in the Aircel-Maxis scam cases filed by the CBI and the ED. Earlier, the court had extended till 18 February the interim protection from arrest granted to the duo.
The senior Congress leader and his son have come under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal and the INX Media case involving Rs 305 crore. In January, the Supreme Court had allowed former Karti to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with its registry but asked him to cooperate with the probe in the INX Media and Aircel-Maxis cases, saying "don't play around with the law".
In December last year, the court extended the interim protection granted to the father-son duo till 11 January.
In November last year, the Delhi court extended till 26 November protection from arrest to former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case filed by the CBI and the ED.
Chidambaram, Karti named in CBI charge sheet
In July last year, Chidambaram and his son Karti were named in a charge sheet by the CBI in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
The agency filed its supplementary charge sheet before special CBI judge O P Saini.
In its charge sheet filed earlier in the case against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others, the agency had alleged that Chidambaram had granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in March 2006 to Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Maxis.
The Maran brothers and other accused, who were listed in the CBI charge sheet earlier, were discharged by the special court which had said that the agency had failed to produce any material against them to proceed with the trial.
The CBI had alleged in the charge sheet against the Marans that Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd had sought FIPB approval for $800 million for which only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was competent, but Chidambaram had given approval to the firm in March 2006.
It had claimed that the finance minister was competent to accord approval on project proposals of up to Rs 600 crore and proposals beyond this required the approval of the CCEA.
In October last year, Chidambaram was named as the accused by the ED along with eight others in the Aircel-Maxis case. The ED had filed a supplementary charge sheet in Delh's Patiala House court.
The ED is also probing a separate money laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis deal in which Chidambaram and Karti had been questioned by the agency.
In August last year, the ED had questioned the former Finance Minister in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case for the fourth time.
In April last year, the ED had questioned Karti for the first time in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. The case relates to the FIPB approval granted in 2006 by then Union Finance Minister Chidambaram.
Both Chidambaram and Karti denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and ED.
— With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: May 30, 2019 12:46:36 IST