The Patiala House Court in Delhi adjourned the Aircel Maxis case till January 11 on Tuesday. The court also extended the interim protection of former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram and till January 11 in both the CBI and the ED cases.
In October, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a supplementary chargesheet in the Patiala House Court against the former finance minister and eight others in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel Maxis money laundering case. The court had called Chidambaram “Accused No 1”. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named nine accused in the case including Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies.
The CBI chargesheet claimed that two illegal payments of Rs 26 lakh and Rs 87 lakh were paid to Chess Management and Advantage Strategic during the Aircel Maxis deal for the FIPB clearance when P Chidambaram was the finance minister, according to a report in the Economic Times.
The CBI and the ED have been investigating the case, which involves the foreign investment clearance granted in 2006 for the Aircel Maxis deal. According to the CBI, Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings -- a subsidiary of Maxis -- sought approval for an investment of 800 million dollars in Aircel.
On November 26, the CBI had told the Delhi court that it had the "requisite sanction" to prosecute the former Union minister in the Aircel Maxis case. According to sources, the premier investigating agency had also informed the court that there was fresh evidence to prove that the Chidambarams had closed bank accounts in foreign countries after the chargesheet in the case was filed in July. P Chidambaram is accused of using his position as the then finance minister in Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet to clear foreign investment deals.
The Chidambarams had been granted protection from arrest till December 18. Their protection was extended after the CBI said it needed two weeks to get sanction against five others accused in the case. They also denied allegations of non-cooperation and called them “baseless” and “false”.