The Delhi High Court Tuesday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram till October 8 in the Aircel-Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the ED.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini put up the matter for October after the counsel appearing for the agencies told the court that the main counsel was not well and requested time.
The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Chidambaram, his son Karti and others, alleging that the former union minister “dishonestly and fraudulently” granted FIPB approval for foreign investment when only the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was empowered to do it. The senior Congress leader’s role has 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 its chargesheet, the CBI alleged that Chidambaram and all other accused entered into a “criminal conspiracy” with others and that he abused his official position being the Union Finance Minister form 2006 to 2012. The chargesheet listed alleged offences of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), public servant taking illegal gratification, punishment for abetting this offence, and public servant committing criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act. If convicted, the offences entail a maximum punishment of seven years.
Both Karti and Chidambaram have denied any wrong-doing. “CBI has been pressured to file a chargesheet to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation. The case is now before the Hon’ble Court and it will be contested vigorously. I shall make no more public comment,” the former union minister wrote on Twitter after the chargesheet was filed.
The Enforcement Directorate is also probing a separate money-laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which Chidambaram and Karti have been questioned by the agency.