New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case today, said all the answers he gave to the probe agency were already recorded in government documents. Chidambaram also said no FIR was registered against him, yet a probe had been initiated against him. “Appeared before the ED. The questions were about what is already recorded in the file. Hence, answers too were what is recorded in the file. Need to reiterate there is no FIR, no offence alleged, yet there is an investigation,” he tweeted.
The former finance and home minister said during the six-hour questioning by the ED, more than half the time was taken up by typing the answers without errors, reading the statement and signing it. The agency today recorded Chidambaram’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Chidambaram’s role has come under the scanner in the Rs 3,500-crore Aircel-Maxis deal, in which the ED had already questioned his son, Karti. The Congress leader had last week approached the court of Special Judge O P Saini seeking relief from arrest by the ED in the case. The same court today directed the ED not to take any coercive action or arrest him till July 10 in connection with the case. The ED had first asked him to appear before it on May 30 and on the same day, Chidambaram knocked on the court’s door.
The court, in its order on May 30, had noted that Chidambaram had undertaken to comply with the summons issued by the ED, while saying he apprehended his arrest by the agency. The Aircel-Maxis cases pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to firm M/s Global Communication Holding Services Ltd. in 2006 for investment in Aircel.