P Chidambaram Concealed Facts On FIPB Clearance To Aircel-Maxis, ED Tells SC In An Affidavit
P Chidambaram Concealed Facts On FIPB Clearance To Aircel-Maxis, ED Tells SC In An Affidavit Congress member and former finance minister P Chidambaram at an  event in Mumbai. (Santosh Harhare/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court (SC), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has said that senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was part of the ‘conspiracy’ to give Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) nod to Aircel-Maxis by concealing facts, the Times of India has reported.

According to ED’s affidavit, Aircel had sought permission to bring in Foreign direct investment (FDI) of Rs 3,500 crore in 2006. To make sure that the matter was not referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affair, the Finance Ministry under P Chidambaram suppressed the figure to Rs 180 crore. The Finance Ministry has the power to clear foreign investments of up to Rs 600 crore.

P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, who was arrested last week in connection with the INX Media bribery and money laundering case, was paid Rs 26 lakh in April 2006 for the FIPB approval granted to Aircel. The amount was paid to Chennai-based firm Advantage Strategic Consulting (ASC) barely 20 days after Aircel was granted the approval to bring in FDI by the Finance Ministry.

"The payment of ATVL to ASCPL was in close proximity to the FIPB approval on March 20, 2006, and investigation revealed that ASCPL was controlled by Karti Chidambaram, son of P Chidambaram, the then FM who had accorded FIPB approval to the Aircel-Maxis FDI, even though it was not within his power and was in the competence of CCEA," the affidavit notes.

ED’s affidavit is based on information collected by screening FIPB files pertaining to the period between May 2004 and 2009 and August 2012 and May 2014.

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