CBI and ED also demanded the custodial interrogation of Chidambaram and son Karti, seeking the cancellation of anticipatory bail
The Centre on Monday granted sanction to CBI to prosecute former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case. Producing the sanction for prosecution before the 2G Court Judge OP Saini, Special Public Prosecutor and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested the court that they need “some more time” to produce the sanction for prosecution against Chidambaram’s co-accused five officers.
There are 18 accused in the case. Besides Chidambaram, the sanction is required for the prosecution of five public servants
CBI and ED also demanded the custodial interrogation of Chidambaram and son Karti, seeking the cancellation of anticipatory bail. Chidambaram was present in the court and represented by Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, who objected to the demand of the agencies. The Court posted the matter for further hearings on December 18. Mehta reiterated that agencies got new documents and wanted custodial interrogation of father and son alleging their evasive nature in responding to the questions.
There are 18 accused in the case. Besides Chidambaram, the sanction is required for the prosecution of five public servants, as per the recently amended Prevention of Corruption Act. CBI’s request for sanction is pending in the Finance Ministry. Former Finance Secretaries Ashok Jha and Ashok Chawla and two serving IAS officers Kumar Sanjay Krishnan, Deepak Kumar Singh and Ram Saran then Under Secretary in FIPB are the co-accused with Chidambaram.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted on behalf of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) that “the competent authority in the central government has accorded sanction for prosecution of accused P Chidambaram under section 197 of CrPC and section 19 of Prevention of Corruption Act”.
Custodial interrogation is required since various new materials have surfaced after filing of the charge sheet
“Sanction for prosecution in respect of remaining accused public servants (five) are still awaited,” he said, seeking two more weeks to get the nod. The CBI said that the court’s refusal to grant more time to obtain the sanction for other accused “in a matter pertaining to such serious offences, may frustrate the cause of justice”.
It further said: “In view of the facts and circumstances stated above, it is most humbly and respectfully prayed that the prosecution sanction received from the competent authority in the central government in respect of accused P Chidambaram may kindly be taken on record and a further time may be given to file sanction for prosecution in respect of remaining accused public servants.”
On behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a related money laundering case, Mehta orally told the court that the accused “misled the agency and made a false statement. He suppressed information about the bank accounts in other countries and the money received from various sources.”
“Custodial interrogation is required since various new materials have surfaced after filing of the charge sheet,” the ED, also represented by special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, said. CBI has filed charge sheet on July 19.
Malaysian firm Maxis owner T Ananda Krishnan and his CEO Ralph Marshall, Aircel CEO V Sreenivasan and Chidambaram family’s Chartered Accountant S Bhaskarraman are the other accused in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Karti controlled firms Advantage Strategic Consulting and Chess Management Services are also accused by the CBI of receiving around two million dollars from Maxis and its subsidiaries after father Chidambaram’s “illegal and dubious” FIPB approval. Maxis Group’s four companies Astro All Asia, Maxis Mobile SDM, Bumi Armada Berhad and Bumi Armada Navigation Berhad are also accused of transferring kickback money and lobbying to get “illegal” FIPB clearance.