Probe underway in 63 moons complaint over ‘abuse of official powers’ against P Chidambaram: CBI tells Bombay HC

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Updated: Aug 10, 2020 3:44 PM

63 moons technologies limited has filed a complaint against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and two other bureaucrats alleging abuse of official powers.

63 moons technologies limited has accused Chidambaram and the other two of taking malicious and malafide action against it when the NSEL scam came to light in 2012-13.

The CBI told the Bombay High Court on Monday that it was conducting preliminary enquiry into the complaint filed by 63 moons technologies limited against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram and two other bureaucrats alleging abuse of official powers.

CBI advocate Hiten Venegavkar told a division bench of Justices S S Jadhav and N J Jamadar that since the allegations pertain to the year 2012-2013, the agency has to recover relevant documents which will take some time.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the Jignesh Shah-promoted company, earlier known as Financial Technologies Ltd, questioning the ‘delayed’ action by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against senior Congress leader Chidambaram and bureaucrats K P Krishnan and Ramesh Abhishek. Abhishek was chairman of the Forward Markets Commission and Krishnan was an additional secretary and joint secretary in the Ministry of Finance when Chidambaram was the finance minister.

“We (CBI) are conducting preliminary enquiry. Since the case dates back to the year 2012 and 2013, we need to apply our mind and verify the allegations levelled and recover all relevant documents,” Venegavkar said.

He said the complainant (63 moons technologies) was summoned by the CBI for recording of statement and the firm was asked to submit further evidence in support of its allegations.

“However, till date CBI has not received any further evidence or documents from the petitioner company,” Venegavkar said.

Advocate Aabad Ponda, appearing for 63 moons technologies, refuted this argument and said all relevant documents have already been submitted to the CBI.

“A preliminary enquiry, as per provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, has to be completed within a period of four months. In this case, the preliminary enquiry as initiated in February. We (petitioner) moved the high court in July,” Ponda argued.

The bench directed the CBI to file an affidavit stating details of their enquiry and posted the plea for further hearing on August 13.

On February 15, 2019, 63 moons technologies filed a complaint with the CBI, seeking that a case be registered against the three for allegedly abusing their official positions and causing damage to the company when the multi-crore payment default scam at the National Spot Exchange Limited (MSEL) came to light.

On June 20, 2019, the company filed a petition in the high court, seeking a direction to the CBI to register a FIR.

In August 2019, the CBI informed the court that after verification of the complaint, a preliminary enquiry (PE) will be initiated. The petition said in March 2020, the company representatives were summoned by the CBI to record their statement as the preliminary enquiry was initiated.

“Four months have lapsed since then and there has been no further communication from the CBI and the agency has not registered FIR too,” the petition filed on July 4 said.

The company has accused Chidambaram and the other two of taking malicious and malafide action against it when the NSEL scam came to light in 2012-13.

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