Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti on Wednesday said the CBI’s summons issued to him to appear for questioning in the Aircel Maxis matter was illegal and mala fide and a bid to harass him and his family. He urged the CBI not to insist on his appearance before it in a submission to the investigating team through his lawyer Arun Natarajan.
Karti was called by the CBI to appear for questioning on Wednesday in the case that pertains to a foreign investment clearance given by the FIPB to Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd for investing in Aircel. The submission said in connection with the matter of Aircel Maxis and INX media, P Chidambaram had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court on September 29.
Karti and his father were questioned by the agency on November 19, 2014, and December 6, 2014, respectively, it said.
“The CBI and other investigative wings under the control of this present Union government, from time to time, issue malicious press releases or take coercive action driven by political vendetta in order to blatantly sensationalise and publicise this campaign against my client and his family with the intent to malign their reputation,” it said.
Karti has filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court challenging the CBI’s action of issuing summons to him, it said. The lawyer reiterated all proceedings connected with the matter had been terminated. Since all the accused in the case had been discharged, the CBI should not have issued its notice.
“The issuance of the present notice when all the accused have been discharged and the proceedings have been terminated is clearly illegal, mala fide and to harass my client and his family,” the submission said.
It also said this “malicious campaign” against Karti Chidambaram and his family was an orchestrated attempt to malign his reputation and of his father, who it added, was a prominent leader of the largest opposition party.
P Chidambaram is a senior Congress leader.
After Karti had refused to appear on the last date in September, the CBI had strongly contradicted his claims and said only four of the eight charge sheeted accused were discharged by the special court. The agency had filed an appeal against the order in the Delhi High Court in May this year.
“FIR RC-22(A)/2011-DLI has not been quashed by the court and further investigation under 173(8) of the CrPC is continuing,” CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal had said.
He had said two Malaysian nationals and two Malaysian companies who were charge sheeted by the CBI in the matter did not appear before the special court and warrants were issued against the individuals.
“Court proceedings are still pending. A request has been placed before the Interpol for issuance of Red Notices against the two Malaysian nationals,” Dayal said. The investigation into alleged irregularities in granting a foreign investment approval to Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd for investment in Aircel is still going on, CBI sources said.
They said the agency was also looking into investments made by firms controlled by Karti into Aircel while the FIPB clearance issue was under the consideration of the then Finance ministry.
In August 2014, the CBI had charge sheeted former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi, Malaysian business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Ralph Marshall and four firms- Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad and ASTRO All Asia Network PLC.
In an order on February 2 this year, the special CBI court had discharged Dayanidhi and Kalanithi, Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd saying that the charges were without any “legal basis”.
The court order, however, did not have any effect on the two accused Malaysian nationals- Marshall and Krishnan -in the CBI’s case as the court had already segregated the proceedings against them from that of the Maran brothers and others. Both had not appeared before the court. The CBI had challenged the discharge order in the Delhi High Court on May 11 this year.
P Chidambaram, in a statement in 2014, had dismissed the allegations against him saying the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance was granted in due course.