Furore after ED recovers confidential CBI report on Aircel-Maxis case from Chidambaram's house

Furore after ED recovers confidential CBI report on Aircel-Maxis case from Chidambaram's house

ED recovers document on Aircel-Maxis case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recovering a draft report prepared by the CBI on Aircel-Maxis case from former finance minister P Chidambaram's residence triggered a political storm on Thursday, prompting the CBI to start an internal inquiry into the leakage.

Chidambaram is being probed by the CBI in the Aircel-Maxis case and the ED has sent an official note to the CBI after it seized the document during a raid on January 13 from his residence in south Delhi's Jor Bagh. The seizure of this report also echoed in the Rajya Sabha when BJP MP Bhupender Yadav sought an explanation from Chidambaram on the issue.

Sources said the seized document is a CBI draft report on the Aircel-Maxis deal case which was submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by it in 2013. They claimed some portions of the report match with the one that was submitted to the apex court. "I don't comment on cases," Chidambaram was quoted by PTI as saying.

The ED case pertains to a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by Chidambaram when he was the finance minister in the UPA government.

It claimed that the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006 by Chidambaram even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore. Beyond Rs 600 crore, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has to clear proposals. "In the instant case, the approval for FDI of $800 million (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, the CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from the CCEA," the ED had said.

Echoes in RS

In the Rajya Sabha, Yadav raised the issue during the debate on the budget, immediately after Chidambaram finished his speech, saying he owed an explanation as he had held crucial portfolios during the UPA regime.

Congress MPs objected to Yadav's remarks and trooped into the well raising anti-Modi and anti-government slogans. Senior Congress MP Anand Sharma demanded expunction of Yadav's statement saying he had made personal allegations which should not go into the records.