ED searches Chidambaram, son Karti's premises

ED searches Chidambaram, son Karti's premises

The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday carried out searches at the residences of senior Congress leader P Chidamaram and that of his son Karti in Delhi and Chennai in connection with its investigations into allegations of money laundering in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The searches were carried out at nine premises in Chennai and the Jor Bagh residence of the former finance minister in the national capital.

Chidambaram described the raids as a "comedy of errors" and said the ED officials were "embarrassed and apologetic" to find him there instead of his son Karti.

The former minister said he had anticipated that his house in Chennai will be searched again.

"But in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (in Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house, but he is not. I am the occupant," he told reporters here.

He said the ED officials could not find anything at his residence and went away with some papers, which was a copy of one of his speeches in Parliament and some notes that he had jotted down.

The case is linked to an approval granted by Foreign Investment Promotion Board to Aircel-Maxis in 2006, during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

The ED case refers to the FIPB approval granted by Chidambaram during his tenure as finance minister pertaining to investments to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore.

The ED has claimed that Chidambaram had cleared the proposal without referring it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which is the competent authority for investments greater than Rs 600 crore.

The Congress stood by Chidambaram and accused the Modi government of unleashing a "raid raj" to "settle political scores" and "intimidate political opponents".

"The BJP government is ruffled by a series of political, administrative and judicial reverses and using these raids as a diversion from its abject failures," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

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