Speaking about the ongoing probe against Karti Chidambaram’s ‘alleged’ financial irregularities in Aircel-Maxis scam, P Chidambaram has said that the recent “summon against his son Karti Chidambaram is vague and unclear.”
He also refuted the claims that Karti was not cooperating with the ED probe and wasn’t responding to the summons and revealed that it was the ED which wasn’t replying to Karti’s lawyers. The ED is now contemplating taking Karti Chidambaram into custody after he failed to turn up at the ED headquarters. Chidambaram said that these are attempts to harass his family by saying, “Karti has made it clear in the reply that if the ED gave particulars of the offence under PMLA that is being investigated, he will certainly answer all questions pertaining to that offence. I repeat that he will answer all questions provided he is told the offence that is being investigated. The allegation that Karti is not cooperating with the ED is baseless.”
The ED is probing the 2G spectrum scam amid allegations that Malaysia-based Maxis was forced into selling its stake in Aircel. This was the third summons the ED had served on Karti and the agency wanted to him for questioning in connection with certain transactions in Aircel’s acquisition of Maxis.
The Aircel-Maxis deal is being probed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). P Chidambaram’s wife, Nalini, is also facing ED questioning in connection with the Saradha chit-fund scam.
Even though the ongoing probe against Karti Chidambaram’s ‘alleged’ financial irregularities has yielded no results so far and ED officials had to rely on letters rogatory (LRs), a formal request to court in other countries for details on trusts allegedly owned by Advantage Strategic Consultancy (P) Ltd, a firm allegedly linked to Chidambaram and its subsidiaries.
Chidambaram had earlier criticised the government over the probe and said that it was “an attempt to harass the family” he also added that firms being probed by ED belonged to his friends. “They are owned by professionals and managed by competent Board of Directors,” he had said.
Sources inside the Karti Chidambaram camp have been hinting at political vendetta as they allege that “a certain ED official” whose induction was opposed by former finance minister P Chidambaram is the reason behind the summons.