ED files charge sheet against Chidambaram

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today filed chargesheet against former Union minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.The agency has named nine accused in the case including Chidambaram, S Bhaskaraman and four Maxis companies in the supplementary chargesheet. CBI Special Judge OP Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the chargesheet.

Earlier today, the Delhi High Court extended the interim protection of Chidambaram in connection with the INX media case. He has been granted interim protection from arrest till November 29. On September 28, the court had extended his interim protection from arrest till today.Chidambaram had filed an anticipatory bail plea seeking protection from arrest by CBI and ED.

ED had filed the first charge sheet in the case against Chidambaram’s son Karti; later, a supplementary charge sheet was also filed against him. The nine accused named by the agency in the case include Chidambaram, S. Bhaskaraman (chartered accountant of Karti), V Srinivasan (former CEO of Aircel), Augustus Ralph Marshall (associated with Maxis), Astro All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia, Aircel Televentures Ltd, Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd, Bumi Armada Berhad, Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd.

They are accused of money laundering of Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of illegal FIPB approval by the former minister in March 2006, given to foreign investor Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius, in violation of various rules governing India’s FDI policy.

“According to rules and FDI policy of the Government of India in 2006, Chidambaram, the then finance minister, was empowered to give approval to foreign investment proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited should have been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not done and approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy,” the ED said while filing the second supplementary charge sheet.

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