New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed a supplementary charge sheet in Delhi's Patiala House Court in the Aircel Maxis case in which nine persons, including former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, were listed as accused.
The court has fixed November 26 as the date for consideration of the charge sheet.
The supplementary charge sheet, which was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), also includes names of S. Bhaskararaman, M/s Aircel Televentures Ltd., V. Srinivasan, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, M/s Bumi Armada Navigation Sdn Bhd Malaysia and Augustus Ralph Marshall resident of Malaysia for the offence of money laundering of Rs 1.16 crore in lieu of illegal Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval by accused number one Chidambaram in March, 2006 given to the foreign investor, Global Communication and services Holdings Limited, Mauritius (wholly owned subsidiary Maxis Berhard, Malaysia) in violation of the various Rules and Regulations governing the FDI policy in India.
As per the rules and foreign direct investment (FDI) policy of the government, Chidambaram, who served as Finance Minister in 2006, was empowered to give approval of the foreign investment to the proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore only. The foreign investment proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Limited, Mauritius was of Rs 3560 crore approximately.
As per policy and rules, the proposal of Global Communication and Services Holdings Ltd. should have been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) but it was not referred and was approved by Chidambaram under a conspiracy.
The complaint filed today in the case in respect to the money laundering is based on adequate material evidence. This evidence is in the form of emails communication retrieved from the seized digital devices from Chidambaram's son Karti and his associates.
The material evidence inter-alia, reveal routing of proceeds of crime in the guise of bonafide business deals by the beneficiaries of the illegal FIPB approval in the companies of Karti. The ED investigation has revealed the financial linkage of Karti and his father with these companies. There are contradictory and evasive responses, in spite of that ED has collected material, that is, corroboratory statements recorded under section 50 of the PMLA from various persona during the course of the investigation to substantiate the offence of the money laundering.
The ED today has filed voluminous records including the records collected from the Ministry of Finance, other government organisations and documents seized from the searches conducted by the ED.
The probe agency was given three months more time on September 20, 2018, by the Supreme Court to finalise the investigation. This time was extended by the apex court considering the application of ED that more time is required after September 12, 2018, the time limit previously given by the top court vide order dated March 3, 2018.
The ED investigation will continue as per disposal of the application filed by the Directorate before the Special Court of PMLA concerning with the cancellation of anticipatory bail of Karti and applications filed by Karti and his father.