NEW DELHI: While confirming the attachment of assets worth Rs 1.16 crore against Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram and a firm linked to him, a PMLA court held that there is “considerable evidence” that criminal proceeds were generated in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.
“There is considerable evidence regarding generation of proceeds of crime by commission of the scheduled offences (under Prevention of Money Laundering Act). There is sufficient evidence of such proceeds of crime having been utilised by the defendants (Karti and others),” reads the order issued on March 12 by Member (Law) of the Adjudicating Authority under PMLA Tushar V Shah.
Shah also noted that Karti, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd and others have “failed” to prove that these assets were not “proceeds of crime” of the offence of money laundering.
The ED had attached the assets of Karti and ASCPL in the form of fixed deposits and balance in savings bank account worth `1.16 crore on September 23 last year in the Aircel Maxis case. Under the provisions of the PMLA, the attachment is required to be confirmed by the authority if the funds attached are reasonably proved to be part of proceeds of crime.
The case relates to FIPB approval granted to Aircel — Maxis FDI deal on March 13, 2006, by the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram who was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
“In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 Million USD (over Rs 3500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” the agency had said after confirmation of the attachment. The investigation revealed information about a payment of Rs 26 lakh by Aircel Televentures Limited to Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd within a few days of the FIPB approval, the ED had said. Another sum of $2 lakh was received by Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd from Maxis Group Company.
Delhi HC to hear bail plea today
Thee bail plea of Karti in connection with the CBI’s case relating to INX Media will come up for hearing on Friday before the Delhi High Court. Karti is presently undergoing judicial custody in the case. Karti controlled ASCPL through one S Bhaskararaman, who was described as his CFO /CA and looks after his financial matters. Bhaskararaman was arrested recently in connection with the issue