P Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader and former finance minister termed the investigation agency, CBI’s charges false and baseless before a Delhi Court and filed a rejoinder responding to probe agency.
The CBI informed the court that the former finance minister had unlawfully granted the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to a Mauritius-based company in Rs 35,000 crore Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.
The CBI, in its reply to the anticipatory bail plea of Chidambaram, had also alleged that Congress leader was not cooperating in the investigations.
“The averments (by the CBI) that the applicant (Chidambaram) had usurped the power of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, unlawfully granted the FIPB approval to Global Communication Services Ltd, Mauritius, and had chosen not to disclose facts which are in his exclusive knowledge are denied as being false, baseless and untenable,” the politician said.
The rejoinder submissions were filed before Special Judge O P Saini through advocates P K Dubey and Arshdeep Singh. “It is submitted that the FIPB was chaired by the secretary, economic affairs, and included four other secretaries (industry, commerce, external affairs and overseas Indian affairs), and the secretary of the administrative ministry concerned.”
“Five of them were among the senior most IAS officers and sixth was a senior IFS officer of the ministry of external affairs. Each one of them had a long and distinguished record of service,” the rejoinder said.
Chidambaram claimed that the allegations made by the CBI were “unsubstantiated” and there was no need of his custodial interrogation, as sought by the agency. He claimed that all the evidence were documentary and already in the CBI’s possession.
“No evidence has been submitted by the CBI in support of its unfounded allegation that the applicant (Chidambaram) may tamper with the witnesses or evidence,” the document stated.
Besides CBI, the ED is also probing a separate money-laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter, in which Chidambaram has been questioned by the agency and currently their anticipatory bail is pending.