CBI gets sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis deal case

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New Delhi (IANS): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday told a Delhi court that it has received requisite sanction from the competent authority to prosecute former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

The investigation agency, however, sought more time to get prosecution sanction against other accused in the case.

The special court was hearing the anticipatory bail plea of former Minister and his son, and the matter of taking cognisance of the chargesheet.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have opposed the bail plea of the father and son.

Special Judge O.P. Saini, meanwhile, extended the interim protection from arrest of Chidambaram and his son Karti till December 18.

The CBI and the ED are investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.

The ED on October 25 filed a charge-sheet in the case naming Chidambaram and a few others.

The CBI had on July 19 filed a chargesheet against 18 persons in the case, including the former Finance Minister and Karti.

On August 29, 2014, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, as Minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman T.A. 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 (SDTPL), stated to be owned by the Maran family.

However, a special court had dropped charges against 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.

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