Chidambaram, son get protection from arrest till Aug 7

Chidambaram, son get protection from arrest till Aug 7

Former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti on Tuesday got a further reprieve from a court from arrest till August 7 in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.

As the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed the bail plea in its written submission and sought time to argue the matter, special judge O P Saini extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and Karti till August 7. Senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared on behalf of Chidambaram and Karti.

The ED's lawyers Sonia Mathur, N K Matta and Nitesh Rana said a "strong prima facie case has emerged showing the involvement of the former minister...a larger conspiracy is unfolding" in the investigations.

The agency claimed that Chidambaram has been "evasive" in his replies during questioning and the "investigation is being carried out on the circumstances in which the FIPB approval was granted by the applicant, the then finance minister, as well as other related issues".

It also said in the written submissions that it has "reached to a bonafide conclusion that under anticipatory bail, it will not be possible to reach the truth".

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

The ED claims that the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006 by Chidambaram though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore.

The ED had last week filed a charge sheet against Karti in the case and the court has fixed July 31 to decide on the question as to whether it should take cognisance of the charge sheet, which mentions Chidambaram as an accused.

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