Aircel-Maxis deal: CBI should question me & not harass Karti, says P Chidambaram

Hitting out at the CBI, Chidambaram claimed that FIPB officials have already informed the probe agency that the approval given in the Aircel-Maxis deal was valid.

Amid ongoing probe on the foreign investment clearance given in the Aircel-Maxis deal, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of circulating misinformation. The senior Congress party leader has further asked the probe agency to quiz him instead of harassing his son Karti Chidambaram.

Hitting out at the CBI, Chidambaram claimed that the officials from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) have already informed the probe agency that the approval given in the Aircel-Maxis deal was valid.

In a series of posts in Twitter, Chidambaram said, “Sad CBI spreading misinformation. In Aircel-Maxis, FIPB officials have recorded statements before CBI that approval given was valid. In Aircel-Maxis, FIPB recommended and I approved minutes. CBI should question me and not harass Karti Chidambaram.”

The CBI had summoned Karti Chidambaram on Thursday to question him in connection with the Aircel-Maxis deal, cleared in 2006 when his father was the then Finance Minister in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. However, stating that a special court had discharged all the accused and terminated probe proceeding in the case, Karti refused to appear before the probe agency. Countering Karti the CBI maintained that the investigation was still on.

In a charge-sheet presented to a special court in 2014, CBI mentioned that the Mauritius-based M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Maxis, had sought approval for an investment of $ 800 million (approx Rs 5,127 crore) in Aircel. The CBI further stated that while the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram granted approval for the investment in 2006, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was the competent body to pass the approval. However, Chidambaram claimed that the FIPB approval was granted in the “normal course of business”.

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