Aircel-Maxis case: Chidambaram, son Karthi get extended interim protection from arrest

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED were investigating how Karti Chidambaram managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006.

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P Chidambaram speaks at the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) conclave in New Delhi July 16, 2013Reuters file

A special court on Monday extended former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti’s interim protection from arrest till November 1 in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought more time from the court to file a detailed reply on the plea.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED were investigating how Karti Chidambaram managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006.

On August 29, 2014, the CBI filed a charge sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, a minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman TA Ananda Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.

Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Krishnan-owned Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, Maxis made investments through Astro Network, a sister concern, in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, said to be owned by the Maran family.

However, a special court dropped charges against former Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the alleged kickback of Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying the “perception or suspicion” was not backed by concrete evidence.

The CBI on July 19 filed a charge sheet against 18 persons in the case, including former Chidambaram and his son Karti.

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