Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was interrogated for over five hours on Tuesday for the second time this month in connection with the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case. Chidambaram's son Karti has also been questioned twice in this case. The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing the father and son for allegedly taking kickbacks in exchange for getting the Aircel-Maxis deal of over Rs 3,500 crore cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2006, when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister.
The agency is reported to have confronted Chidambaram with documentary evidence pertaining to the case. It also wanted to question him over the statements he gave over FIPB approvals, sources said.
The ED also questioned him based on the statements of FIPB officials on Chidambaram's alleged role. According to sources, the agency is likely to summon him again in connection with this case.
The agency is all set to file a chargesheet against Karti in this case on Wednesday. Chidambaram reached the ED office at Jamnagar House at 11 am. The investigators began the questioning minutes after he arrived. He was allowed to leave the ED office for an hour to have lunch in the afternoon, sources said.
The ED alleged that at least 54 files of wrongful FIPB approvals are under the scanner. ED's claims were reported to have been corroborated by finance ministry officials who were examined.
According to the ED, these FIPB approvals were wrongfully given between May 2004 to 2009 and August 2012 to May 2014. The ED went through at least 2,721 files related to the approvals.
"As many as 54 files of FIPB were shortlisted and examined further in respect of said approval by the then finance minister given to Aircel Ltd on 20.03.2006 in Aircel-Maxis deal," read the ED documents accessed by Mail Today. The CBI has also questioned the former minister on June 6.
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