Court extends Chidambaram's interim protection from arrest

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Court extends Chidambaram's interim protection from arrest
former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram (file photo)

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday extended interim protection from arrest granted to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti till November 26 in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

Special Judge O.P. Saini, while extending the interim protection from arrest of father and son, also listed for further hearing Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on Wednesday requested the court to reject the anticipatory bail plea of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case and pressed for his custodial interrogation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED are investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

The ED on October 25 filed a charge-sheet in the case naming Chidambaram and a few others.

The CBI on July 19 filed a chargesheet against 18 persons in the case, including the former Finance Minister and Karti.

On August 29, 2014, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, as Minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman T.A. Ananda Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.

Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Krishnan-owned Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, Maxis made investments through Astro Network, a sister concern, in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL), stated to be owned by the Maran family.

However, a special court had dropped charges against Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the alleged kickback of Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying the "perception or suspicion" was not backed by concrete evidence.