Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, was on Wednesday grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Aircel Maxis money laundering case for the third time this month.
The case is related to a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted by his father in 2006. It has been alleged that a firm closely linked to him received Rs 26 lakh from Aircel just days after the FIPB approval was granted.
Finance ministry headed by P Chidambaram had the authority to approve project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and required the permission of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for projects beyond that.
The ED has said that it is looking into “the circumstances of said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister”, adding that it was “wrongly projected as an investment of Rs 180 crore so that it need not be sent to the CCEA to avoid detailed scrutiny”.
“In the instant case, the approval for FDI of $800 million (over Rs3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from CCEA,” the agency has alleged.
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