How did draft note on Aircel-Maxis case reach Chidambaram: CBI begins probe

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The mysterious manner in which a 2013 draft report reached the residence of former union minister, P Chidambaram is being probed by the CBI. The Central Bureau of Investigation had prepared a draft report in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case and during a raid conducted by the Enforcement Directorate, it was found at the resident of Chidambaram.

P Chidambaram

Sources in the Enforcement Directorate, tell OneIndia that they had seized the documents on January 13. The raids were conducted at the Jor Bagh premises of Chidambaram. During the raids, the ED had searched several places in Delhi and Chennai linked to Chidambaram's son, Karti Chidambaram.

Following the search an official note was sent to the CBI in which information regarding the seizure and recovery of the document was mentioned. A CBI official informed that it is now conducting an internal inquiry into the incident.

It is understood that the document is a CBI draft report on the Aircel-Maxis deal case which was later submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover by it in 2013 and sources indicate that some portions of the seized report match with what was submitted then.

The senior Congress leader, on January 13, had termed the ED raids against his son "a comedy of errors" and claimed that the officers were left "embarrassed" and "apologetic" as they could not find anything at his Jorbagh house.

"Since they (ED sleuths) had to justify the search, they took some background papers related to a statement made by the government in Parliament in 2012-13. In Chennai also they found nothing, seized nothing," the senior Chidambaram had said.

The ED case pertains to a 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 (P Chidambaram)" under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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.

The agency had said that the FIPB approval in the Aircel-Maxis FDI case was granted in March, 2006, by the then finance minister, 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 had alleged.

Karti is also being probed by the ED in an another money laundering case pertaining to the INX media deal.

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