NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed its second chargesheet in the Rs 3,500 crore Aircel-Maxis case, naming former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and nine others, for allegedly laundering Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of FIPB clearance, and violating FDI-approval norms.
The chargesheet, the ED claims, was filed on the basis of e-mails retrieved from devices seized from Chidambaram’s son Karti and his associates. The agency accused Chidambaram of conspiring with foreign investors to give them clearance for their venture, and misusing his office as finance minister to clear foreign investment deals in exchange for favours for Karti.
“The material, inter alia, reveals routing of proceeds of crime in the guise of bona fide business deals by the beneficiaries of illegal FIPB approval, in the companies of Mr Karti. Investigation has revealed the financial linkage of Karti and P Chidambaram,” the chargesheet said.
The agency also accused Chidambaram of violating various rules governing India’s FDI policy, in giving clearance to Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius.
“As per rules and FDI policy of the government in 2006, Chidambaram, the then finance minister, was empowered to give approval to foreign investment proposals worth up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holding Limited, Mauritius, was of $800 million (Rs 3,650 crore approximately),” the ED said.
The agency further alleged that the proposal, as per rules, should have been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), which was the competent authority to grant approval.
The chargesheet, which was filed before Special Judge OP Saini, also names V Srinivasan, former CEO of Aircel, S. Bhaskararaman, the Chartered Accountant of Karti, Augustus Ralph Marshall of Maxis, Astro All Asia Networks Plc Malaysia, Aircel Televentures Ltd, Maxis Mobile Services Sdn Bhd, Bumi Armada Berhad, and Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd.
Special Judge OP Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the chargesheet. The ED filed the first chargesheet on June 13, naming Karti, Ravi Visvanathan, Padma Bhaskararaman, Advantage Strategic Consulting and Chess Management Services. P Chidambaram and Karti have denied the allegations levelled against them.