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Home » Opinion » The Curious Case of Aircel-Maxis and Karti Chidambaram

The Curious Case of Aircel-Maxis and Karti Chidambaram

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ED files chargesheet against Chidambaram in Aircel Maxis case

It is curious to note the way in which Karti Chidambaram is being targeted over the Aircel-Maxis issue. The controversy is against Dayanidhi Maran and the fact that he pressurised C Sivasankaran to sell 74 percent of his stake to Malaysia’s Maxis Group in 2006.

In the chargesheet filed by the CBI, there is no mention of Chidambaram Jr or any company associated with him as an accused or as a witness. This being the case, what is then his connection with the Aircel-Maxis case? The only answer is — the well-planned political vendetta against P Chidambaram and his family members, including his son, Karti.

Subramanian Swamy and the Enforcement Directorate mischievously connect unrelated genuine transactions of modest values to the Aircel-Maxis case. One such is – a Rs 26 lakh transaction by a company called Advantage, owned by Karti’s friends who indeed worked for Sivasankaran. The peculiarity is that while Sivasankaran who is the complainant in the case is not an accused, how can work done for him be proceeds of crime?

Secondly, and more importantly, transactions under Rs 30 lakh cannot be probed by the ED. Neither has the criminality act of the Rs 26 lakh transaction been established. The ED has not established any predicate offence, so how can there be proceeds of crime?

Same is the case for Chess, a company that implemented compliance software for the Maxis group companies from 2007 to 2011. This company has done work similar to what a TCS or HCL would have done. Genuine commercial transactions are being portrayed as proceeds of crime without actually establishing a crime.

Also, interesting is the fact that till date it has not been established that the FIPB clearance was illegal. This approval was given in 2006; almost a decade ago. Does it take 10 years to find out if it was not proper clearance? If there were indeed discrepancies, then the present Narendra Modi government must act and cancel it. If the Maxis investment in India is illegal, then why allow it to merge with Reliance?

If there is something illegal, then the investigative agencies must act and bring all guilty to justice. But not at the cost of witch-hunting of innocents.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Gaurav Pandhi is associated with Indian National Congress' Digital Communications. He tweets at @GauravPandhi

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