File status report in Aircel-Maxis case in two weeks: CBI court

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) A Special CBI Court here on Friday directed the CBI and the ED to file a status report in the Aircel-Maxis case allegedly involving former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.

Issuing directions, Sujata Kohli, the newly appointed District Judge at the Rouse Avenue Court, observed that the allegations mentioned in the charge sheet appeared to be “quite serious in nature”.

Taking note of her predecessor OP Saini’s order to adjourn the matter sine die, Kohli said that she was not inclined to adjourn the matter at all and all adjournments were being given reluctantly, adding that there was no concept or term as ‘adjourned sine die’ under the CrPC.

“I am of the considered opinion that keeping this matter as ‘adjourned sine die’, would not be conducive to the interest of justice and the file is revived/restored to its original number. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are directed to file fresh/up-to-date status report,” the Judge said.

Chidambaram and his son are currently out on bail.

Allowing their anticipatory bails, then Special CBI Judge Saini had maintained that they couldn’t commit any similar crime since they held no position in the government at present.

The court had observed that the evidence on the alleged crime was documentary in nature and thus could not be tampered with by the accused.

“The witnesses are also from the Department of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Finance and banks and as such there is no possibility of them being threatened or influenced by any of the accused,” the court had said.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The approval was granted in 2006 when P. Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

According to rules and the foreign direct investment policy in force at that time, Chidambaram was allegedly empowered to give approval to proposals involving foreign investment only up to Rs 600 crore.

–IANS

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