Aircel-Maxis case: ED complaint names Congress leader P Chidambaram, he says will contest if called

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New Delhi | October 26, 2018 1:21 AM

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday filed a prosecution complaint in the Aircel-Maxis case against Congress leader P Chidambaram, accusing him of granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval illegally to a Mauritius-based firm while he was Union Finance Minister to help his son’s company.

 

Congress leader P Chidambaram

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday filed a prosecution complaint in the Aircel-Maxis case against Congress leader P Chidambaram, accusing him of granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval illegally to a Mauritius-based firm while he was Union Finance Minister to help his son’s company. The complaint, filed in a Delhi court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, also named S Bhaskarraman, chartered accountant of Chidambaram’s son Karti; V Srinivasan; Malaysia resident Augustus Ralph Marshall, Aircel Televentures Ltd; Astro All Asia Networks Plc, Malaysia; Maxis Mobile Sdn Bhd, Malaysia; Bumi Armada Berhad, Malaysia and Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd.

An ED statement said the accused have been charged with “the offence of money laundering of Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of the illegal FIPB approval by Sh P Chidambaram in March, 2006 given to the foreign investor, Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius (wholly owned subsidiary of Maxis Berhad, Malaysia) in violation of the various Rules and Regulations governing the FDI policy in India”.

Responding to the complaint, Chidambaram said: “CBI has already filed a Chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis case. ED has now filed a Complaint in the same case. If and when summons is issued by the Honourable Court, the cases will be contested. I will not make any other public comment.”
Special Judge O P Saini fixed November 26 for consideration of the complaint.

According to the ED complaint, under the rules and FDI policy in 2006, Chidambaram was empowered to grant approval to proposals for foreign investment not more than Rs 600 crore. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius, was of $800 Million i.e. Rs 3,560 crore (calculated at 1$ = Rs 44.5), the ED said.

FPIs sold shares worth $204 million in the cash segment on Thursday, provisional data from the stock exchanges showed. Overseas investors have remained
net sellers for the most of October, offloading equities worth nearly $3 billion, taking their sale tally since April to $7.4 billion. On the other hand, DIIs bought shares worth $10.8 billion during the same period.

On Thursday, all the 19 sectoral indices compiled by BSE ended the session in red with BSE telecom losing as much as 2.9%. While BSE Realty lost 1.8%, BSE Healthcare and BSE Material declined about 1.5% each.

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