Congress calls ED, CBI Modi government's ‘captive puppets'

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The Congress party on Saturday fumed over the Enforcement Directorate raids at properties linked to Karti Chidambaram and called the ED and the CBI as the BJP-led government's "captive puppets".

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala

Speaking to news agency ANI, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that a "malicious vendetta" has been unleashed against former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram.

"Everyday Prime Minister Modi and his government use ED and CBI as captive puppets to seek revenge from the opposition," he said.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted raids at Karti Chidambaram's premises in Delhi and Chennai in connection with Aircel-Maxis case.

The raids are a part of an ED investigation into a money laundering case registered last year against Karti Chidambaram. The agency had raided properties of Karti's close aides in Chennai and Kolkata on December 1.

The Aircel-Maxis case:

The ED case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval granted in 2006 by the then finance minister P Chidambaram. The agency had said it is investigating the circumstances of the said FIPB approval granted by the then finance minister .

The ED also alleged that Karti has "disposed" of a property in Gurgaon, which he had allegedly rented out to a multinational company "to whom foreign direct investment (FDI) approval had been granted in 2013". It charged that Karti had "also closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close other bank accounts in order to frustrate the process of attachment" under the PMLA.

[ED no authority to probe under PMLA: Chidambaram on raids]

The agency said FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March 2006 by the then FM even though he was competent to accord approval on project proposals only up to Rs 600 crore and beyond that it required the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

"In the instant case, the approval for FDI of 800 million USD (over Rs 3,500 crore) was sought. Hence, CCEA was competent to grant approval. However, approval was not obtained from CCEA," it alleged.

In December 2017, the ED conducted raids in Chennai and Kolkata in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.

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