India

Justice

Chidambaram, Karti get bail reprieve

September 05, 2019 05:14 PM

NEW DELHI:  Allowing anticipatory bails to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini said they couldn't commit the same crimes as they no more held a position in the government.

"There is no possibility of the accused committing any similar crime again as they are not holding any official position in the government at present," the court said in the Aircel Maxis case.

The court also observed the evidence related to the commission of crime by them was documentary in nature and thus could not be tampered with by the accused. "The witnesses are also from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), 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 said.

During previous hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) K.M. Natraj had submitted, "The documents at large, the material collected during the probe, without any second look show being the Finance Minister he granted approval beyond his limit, benefited a few and received kick-backs."

"The applicants committed serious economic offences, which are threat to the national economy and white collar crimes. The offence have been committed systematically with the cognisance of a larger conspiracy against the public and national interest."

He also said such offences should be dealt with seriousness as they related to larger conspiracy relating to the transactions abroad. The Letters Rogatory (LR) had been sent to different countries to seek information, he added.

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

According to the rules and foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, Chidambaram was only empowered to give approval to the proposals involving foreign investment up to Rs 600 crore.

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