New Delhi: A city court today ordered that former union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti would not be arrested in the Aircel-Maxis deal related money laundering case till August 7, even as the Enforcement Directorate opposed the former’s anticipatory bail plea.
The ED opposed the bail application before special judge O P Saini in its written submission and sought time to argue the matter. Following this, the court extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Chidambaram and Karti till August 7 following a request made by their counsel, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
The ED, through its special public prosecutors – senior advocate Sonia Mathur and advocates N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, said a “strong prima facie case has emerged showing the involvement of the former minister … (and a) larger conspiracy is unfolding” from the investigation conducted so far.
Alleging that Chidambaram has been “evasive” in his replies, the ED said the “investigation is being carried out on the circumstances in which the said FIPB approval was granted by the applicant, the then Finance Minister, as well as other related issues.” The agency, in its reply moved through advocate A R Aditya, said it has “reached to a bonafide conclusion that under anticipatory bail, it will not be possible to reach the truth.”
Last week, the court had allowed the ED to place on record voluminous documents running into around 3,600 pages in support of its charge sheet against Karti in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. The court will decide on whether to take cognisance of the charge sheet against Karti on July 31. The ED has also mentioned the name of former union minister Chidambaram at various places in the charge sheet. However, he has not been arrayed as an accused in the probe report.
Besides Karti, the agency has also named Advantage Strategic Consultancies Private Limited and its directors Padma Bhaskararamana and Ravi Viswanathan, and Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd and its director Annamalai Palaniappa in the charge sheet filed on June 13 under section 4 (punishment for money laundering) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.