Aircel-Maxis case: ED files charge sheet against 9 including P Chidambaram

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed charge sheet against former Union minister P Chidambaram and eight others in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. CBI Special Judge OP Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the charge sheet.

The agency has named nine accused in the case which includes P 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 the foreign investor Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius, in violation of the various rules and regulations governing the FDI policy in India.

“As per rules and FDI policy of Government of India in 2006, Chidambaram, the then Finance Minister was empowered to give approval of the foreign investment to the 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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not done and approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy,” said the ED, filing the second supplementary charge sheet.

This is the second charge sheet being filed by ED in the Aircel-Maxis Case. 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.

In its charge sheet filed earlier in the case against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others, the agency had alleged that Chidambaram had granted an FIPB approval in March 2006 to the Mauritius-based firm, a subsidiary of Maxis.

The Maran brothers and the other accused named in the CBI charge sheet were discharged by the special court, which had said the agency had failed to produce any material against them to proceed with the trial.

Both Chidambaram and Karti have also denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.

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