The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file a report detailing the status of the probe being carried out on various aspects of the Aircel-Maxis deal case. The Enforcement Directorate also filed, in a sealed cover, the status report of its ongoing investigation in the money laundering case related to the deal before a Bench of CJI 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.
During the brief hearing, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy told the bench that he has received a reply from CBI stating 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, after which the bench asked Mehta to do so by the next date of hearing. Mehta told the court that they needed two weeks to file the status report following which the bench posted the matter for hearing on May 2.
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.
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 up to 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.