The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday chargesheeted former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti and his two companies Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt. Ltd. and Chess Management Services Pvt. Ltd. as accused in the Aircel-Maxis scam. Submitting the chargesheet before the 2G Court Judge OP Saini, the ED’s Prosecutors said that Karti got kickbacks of around two million dollars from the telecom companies for the illegal FIPB clearance given by father and then Finance Minister Chidambaram in 2006. ED’s questioning of Chidambaram is going on and the supplementary chargesheet on him will be filed soon.
ED in its joint raid with Income Tax in December 2015 at Karti’s firms unearthed the two million dollar bribe details from Maxis.
It is learnt that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also expected to chargesheet the father-son duo in coming weeks under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the Aircel-Maxis scam. The 2G Court has fixed the next hearing as July 4 for consideration of the chargesheet filed by the ED. As per the chargesheet, Karti got Rs.90 crores from Maxis and Rs.26 lakhs from Aircel Televenture after father Chidambaram illegally granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearances. The Aircel-Maxis scam was first exposed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in April 2012 by disclosing the documents showing the Rs.26 lakh money trail from Aircel to Karti’s secret firm Advantage Strategic Consulting. The then Janata Pary President and crusader Subramanian Swamy claimed that PC used his clout to benefit son.
Karti is currently in London and is expected back in India on June 28 as per his assurance given to the Madras High Court. The ED after a second round of interrogation on June 12 asked Chidambaram to appear on June last week. The filing of chargesheet by ED against Karti under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) makes sure that there is little room left for Chidambaram, who is trying every trick known to mankind to escape from this open and shut case from April 2012.
ED in its joint raid with Income Tax in December 2015 at Karti’s firms unearthed the two million dollar bribe details from Maxis. The unexpected raid conducted by ED’s Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh has exposed the three billion dollar worth assets of Chidambaram family in 14 countries and their 21 undisclosed foreign bank accounts.
“The ED has filed prosecution against Karti P. Chidambaram and two companies in Aircel-Maxis probe. Chess Management Services, the company promoted by Karti received a sum approximately Rs.90 lakh from Maxis and its associate Malaysian companies allegedly for software services. The software sold for Rs.90 lakh was designed to be used for compliance with Indian Laws and was not fo any use for a Malaysian company,” said the Prosecutors. The ED has already attached Rs.1.16 crore worth assets of Karti’s bank accounts in October 2017 and it was approved by the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Authority.