Below we show a letter from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Anil Sinha to Shaktikanta Das on providing details of Chidambaram’s violations granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to Maxis to take over Aircel. CBI Director’s letter dated September 17, 2015 to Shaktikanta das shows the displeasure of the investigating agency chief about the non-cooperation of Department of Economic Affairs.
PGurus already wrote a detailed report on the role of this erstwhile Revenue Secretary in slowing the Enforcement Directorate’s investigation in Aircel Maxis case.
On March 26th 2015, CBI sought details of files and information regarding the FIPB clearance given by Chidambaram. The letter clearly states that the agency had sent several reminders. CBI normally writes these kind of official reminder letters when the investigators feel that the response is not timely. They should be… almost six months had elapsed since the time they had sent the first letter.
In the letter, the CBI Director says that the matter is very urgent as the Supreme Court has given directions to them in the case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. CBI, even in the details given to the Supreme Court (in a sealed cover) said that they are waiting for information from the Department of Economic Affairs.
The CBI had in their chargesheet against Maran brothers, detailed violations by Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis scam in August 2014. The Aircel-Maxis deal was worth Rs.3600 crores ($534 million) of foreign investment. As the FIPB Chairperson, Chidambaram in 2006 had only power to approve Rs.600 crore ($89 million) foreign investments. For investments above Rs.600 crores ($89 million), the FIPB has to get the clearance from Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). This is perhaps the only deal above Rs.600 crores, in which Chidambaram did not take it up to CCEA. Why he did not take it up? Read on.
Chidambaram claimed that the “face value” of the deal was considerably less. Some friendly media sources parroted Chidambaram’s theories. But all these fell flat when the preliminary findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came out. The apex auditor also found that though the approved value of the deal was Rs.3600 crores ($534 million), the actual money flown to India from Malaysia was more than Rs.4800 crores ($713 million)! Why did an extra Rs.1200 crores ($178 million) come? More importantly, where did it go? Mr. Chidambaram has some explaining to do. Is it a coincidence that every time there is an investigation involving Mr. Chidambaram, a certain official is always in the picture?
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 67.40 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
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