Former union minister P Chidambaram today moved two courts in Delhi for protection from arrest in the Aircel Maxis and INX media cases, in which his son Karti Chidambaram is an accused. One of the courts told the Enforcement Directorate that no coercive action can be taken against Mr Chidambaram until the next hearing on June 5.
The senior Congress leader has to appear for the next hearing. Another senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, also a former minister, represented Mr Chidambaram in court.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating foreign investment clearance granted in 2006 to the Aircel-Maxis deal, when Mr Chidambaram was Finance Minister in the Congress-led central government.
Mr Chidambaram has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in the Aircel-Maxis case and also by the CBI in connection with foreign investment approval in 2007 to INX Media, founded by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea.
The Mukerjeas, jailed in Mumbai over the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora, have alleged that they paid bribe to Karti Chidambaram for the clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
After a reprieve from the trial court in the Aircel-Maxis case, Mr Chidambaram went to the Delhi High Court in the second case. That will be heard tomorrow.
As the former minister’s lawyers, Mr Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi reportedly argued in court that he has clean antecedents and deep roots in the society. Mr Chidambaram also asserts in his petition that all evidence appears documentary, which is already with the government, and there is nothing to be recovered from him.
Karti Chidambaram is being investigated in both the cases. He was arrested by the CBI in February this year.
According to the CBI charge-sheet, Mauritius-based Global Communication Services Holdings, a subsidiary of Maxis, had sought approval for an investment of 800 million dollars in Aircel.
Though a cabinet panel led by the Prime Minister should have cleared the deal, the CBI said, the approval was granted by the Finance Minister at the time.
The CBI also alleges that Rs. 26 lakh was paid by Aircel Televentures Limited to a company allegedly linked to Karti Chidambaram days after the FIPB approval.