Karti's firms received Rs 1.16 crore bribe: ED

The ED filed the charge sheet before Additional Sessions Judge Ruby Alka Gupta for consideration and subsequent issuance of summons to the accused including Karti. DH file photo

Former Union minister P Chidambaram's son Karti controlled two firms which allegedly received Rs 1.16 crore as bribe money in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said in its charge sheet filed before a Delhi court.

Though the name of P Chidambaram, who was also quizzed recently by the CBI and the ED in the INX media and the Aircel-Maxis money laundering cases respectively, was mentioned in the charge sheet, the Congress veteran has not been arrayed as an accused in the probe report which would now be considered by the court on July 4.

The ED filed the charge sheet before Additional Sessions Judge Ruby Alka Gupta for consideration and subsequent issuance of summons to the accused including Karti.

Reacting to the filing of the charge sheet, which is called prosecution complaint in official parlance, Chidambaram said that it would be "vigorously contested" before the special court.

The ED probe report said the payments of Rs 26 lakh to Advantage Strategic Consultancies Private Limited (ASCPL) and Rs 90 lakh to Chess Management Services Pvt Limited (CMSPL) respectively were made as alleged bribe money by parent company of Aircel Ltd, namely Aircel Televentures Ltd (ATVL) and Maxis and its associate Malaysian companies respectively.

Referring to contents of the charge sheet, special public prosecutors Nitesh Rana and N K Matta said that Karti was controlling ASCPL and CMSPL, the alleged beneficiaries of bribe amount of Rs 1.16 crore, and Karti was trying to project this as untainted money.

The probe agency also made clear that it may file supplementary charge sheets in the case which apparently keeps open the chances of arraying more persons as accused.

Apart from Karti, the agency has also named ASCPL and its directors Padma Bhaskararamana and Ravi Viswanathan, and CMSPL and its director Annamalai Palaniappa in the charge sheet under section 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

"Investigation carried out under the PMLA so far as revealed that Karti P Chidambaram is linked with individuals and companies involved in financial transaction and companies holding such companies as per diagram...

"Investigation has revealed that ASCPL and CMSPL are controlled and owned by Karti Chidambaram and his close associate S Bhaskararaman. The investigation has further revealed that ASCPL received money from ATVL, parent company of Aircel Ltd., in close proximity to receipt to FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board)," the charge sheet, filed through advocate A R Aditya, said.

It alleged that Karti received Rs 26 lakh from ATVL in ASCPL, on April 11, 2006, immediately after the approval under the head of payment of consultancy services, it said.

"Similarly CMSPL received an amount of approximately USD 2,02,447 between period 2007-11 against invoices raised between 2007-09. The payments were received from Maxis and its associates in guise of charges for a software which was designed for use by an Indian company and could not at all of any use by a Malaysian company," it said.

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Karti's firms received Rs 1.16 crore bribe: ED

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