Asia & Australia

April 04, 2017

CBI To Investigate Illegal Clearance Given By Former Finance Minister To Maxis To Buy 100% of Aircel

Aircel, Maxis

On April 3, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court that it is probing all possible angles of the allegation that former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had illegally given clearance to the Malaysian firm Maxis to buy 100% of Aircel.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had approached the court earlier this year alleging that Chidambaram illegally granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the Rs 3500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006.

Swamy had sought CBI probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal, and the CBI had already filed a chargesheet against former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran and others. However, when the court asked Swamy for proof on Chidambaram’s alleged illegal action, Swamy said that his petition had nothing to do with the discharge of the Maran brothers in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

On April 3, when Swamy submitted to a two-judge bench comprising CJI J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that he had received a letter from CBI about the probe undertaken against Chidambaram and asked for a direction to the CBI to file a status report, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the CBI was conducting the probe from all angles possible and that he would inform the court on the progress of the investigation after three weeks. Mehta also submitted to the bench the status report of the probe conducted by the Enforcement Directorate against Chidamabram.

Swamy was asked by the court to show “some concrete documentary proof” of Chidambaram’s role in the alleged illegality. Swamy is hoping that investigations by ED and the CBI will provide that.

Further hearing on the matter will be held on May 2.

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