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ED chargesheets Karti in Aircel-Maxis deal case

New Delhi, June 13: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti P. Chidambaram and two companies in a case related to money laundering in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The chargesheet was filed before a Delhi court which listed the matter for hearing on July 4. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED are investigating Karti Chidambaram’s alleged role in getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

The investigation agency has charged Karti Chidambaram and two companies — Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) and Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd (CMSPL) — under various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002. Karti, who has been granted interim protection from arrest by a special court till July 10, has promoted the company CMSPL, the ED has said in the chargesheet. The Directorate has also alleged that ASCPL was set up at the directions of Karti.

Karti controlled and managed the affairs of the company, the ED said citing internal emails where it shows that Karti was controlling each and every aspects of the company’s business. Karti also arranged funds for the company.
The ED chargesheet said that Maxis had invested USD 800 million (Rs 3,565.91 crore) as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The authority of Finance Minister to give approval for the FDI was limited to Rs 600 crore at the relevant time. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) was the competent authority for FDI proposals of over Rs 600 crore. CMSPL received a sum of approx Rs 90 lakh from Maxis and its associate Malaysian companies allegedly for software services, the ED said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita