The CBI has initiated an internal inquiry to find out how documents related to its probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal reached the house of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. In a recent search conducted at the Jor Bagh residence of Chidambaram, the ED reportedly recovered a 2013 draft report of the CBI on the Aircel-Maxis deal case.
The ED is probing Chidambaram’s role in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s approval given for the deal and the alleged role of his son Karti through a company associated with him.
Sources in the ED said the document was seized by the agency on January 13 when it searched a number of premises in Delhi and Chennai linked to Karti.
After the alleged recovery of the draft report, the ED sent a note to the CBI to verify whether the document was correct.
Sources said the CBI has confirmed that such a document was indeed prepared by the agency.
It is understood that the document is a CBI draft report on the Aircel-Maxis deal case which was later submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by it in 2013. Sources pointed out that some portions of the seized report matched what was submitted to the court.
The senior Congress leader on January 13 had termed the ED raids against his son “a comedy of errors” and claimed that officers were left “embarrassed” and “apologetic” as they could not find anything at his Jor Bagh house.
“Since they (ED sleuths) had to justify the search, they took some background papers related to a statement made by the government in Parliament in 2012-13. In Chennai also they found nothing, seized nothing,” Chidambaram had said.
The ED is investigating the circumstances of the FIPB approval granted by Chidambaram under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED also alleged that Karti had “disposed of” a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company “to whom foreign direct investment approval had been granted in 2013”.
The agency had said that the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006, by the then finance minister Chidambaram even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore, beyond which it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).