ED Summons to Honchos over Karti Connection

Published: 25th August 2015 03:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2015 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to two directors of a company, which allegedly had links with former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, in connection with its probe into irregularities in the Aircel-Maxis deal, sources in the agency said.

Sources in the ED said that C B N Reddy and Ravi Vishwanath of Advantage Strategic Consulting had been summoned to join the probe into the allegations of fraudulent financial transactions between the company, which allegedly had links with companies owned by Karti, and Aircel.

The investigative agency has asked the directors to appear before it within 14 days. The agency’s probe found that the firm had transferred Rs 26 lakh to Aircel.

On September 15, 2008, Reddy acquired a stake in Advantage Strategic Consulting, which was owned by Ravi Viswanathan and Padma Viswanathan.

For his part, Karti denied having any links with the firm whose directors have been summoned by the ED.

“Neither me nor my company or any company where I am shareholder has received any ED summons,” he added.

According to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Malaysian company Maxis wanted to buy 74 per cent stake in Aircel for Rs 4,000 crore in 2005. The telco owned Chennai businessman C Sivasankaran was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time.

Swamy alleged that Chidambaram had delayed the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval for the deal. He further alleged that Ausbridge Holding and Investments, a company in which Karti allegedly had a 94-percent stake, bought shares in Advantage Strategic Consultancy, Aircel’s holding company, just before the approval was eventually given.

The shares were bought at prices less than their book value, allowing Karti to make a huge profit, Swamy alleged. Last year, the CBI recorded Chidambaram’s statement in connection with the FIPB clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal. The deal is being probed by both the ED and the CBI as part of the 2G scam investigation.

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