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Congress calls CBI summons to Karti Chidambaram a ‘political witch hunt’

Randeep Surjewala

Randeep Surjewala   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

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Backs Chidambaram on Aircel-Maxis deal case

A day after former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram accused the CBI of “harassing” his son, Karti, in the Aircel Maxis case, the Congress strongly came out in his defence, calling the CBI summons a “political witch hunt.”

“Repeated persecution and scurrilous witch hunt of the family of former Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case by BJP government and CBI/ED have crossed all proportions in complete negation of the facts,” said Randeep Surjewala, who is in charge of Congress’ communication wing.

FIPB clearance

In a statement, Mr. Surjewala said the Aircel-Maxis deal was approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that had six of the most senior bureaucrats on the government of India as members and “concurrence and approval” from the then Finance Minister came subsequently.

The Congress statement also claimed that though the CBI had questioned both Mr. Chidambaram and the FIPB officials, it “widened the ambit of the probe to include Karti Chidambaram in a malicious way”.

The Aircel-Maxis case refers to alleged irregularities in granting approval to foreign investment in 2006 when Mr. Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

Long trail

Apart from filing a charge sheet against Malaysia-based Maxis Group that had bought stakes in the telecom company, Aircel, the CBI had also registered a case against Dayanidhi Maran, the then telecom minister and his older brother, Kalanidhi, alleging a quid pro quo.

“A charge sheet was then filed against Maxis and the Maran brothers. By order dated 02.02.2017, the Special Judge has quashed the charges and terminated the proceedings,”said Mr. Surjewala. The CBI, however, maintained the case was alive and only four of the eight accused named in the case have been acquitted.

This acquittal has also been challenged in the Delhi High Court.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:21:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-calls-cbi-summons-to-karti-chidambaram-a-political-witch-hunt/article19700497.ece

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