P Chidambaram was questioned in the Aircel-Maxis case last month. (File photo)
New Delhi: P Chidambaram, former finance minister and a top leader of the opposition Congress party, has been accused formally of corruption by the CBI today and will stand trial in what is known as the Aircel-Maxis case once the chargesheet is cleared by the judge. The CBI named Mr Chidambaram, 72, in a chargesheet filed in a Delhi court today, hours ahead of a no-trust vote against Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he is placed to win easily. The Congress is among the opposition parties backing the no-trust vote. Calling the allegations "preposterous", Mr Chidambaram said the CBI had been "pressured" to file the chargesheet.
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"CBI has been pressured to file a charge sheet to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation. The case is now before the Hon'ble Court and it will be contested vigorously. I shall make no more public comment (sic)," he said in a tweet today.
The CBI says that in 2006, Mr Chidambaram sanctioned the sale of telecom Aircel to Malaysia's Maxis without following due process. Today's chargesheet will be reviewed by a judge on July 31.
Karti Chidambaram had already been named as an accused in the case in an earlier chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate last month. A chargesheet outlines the investigating agency's early evidence against those it wants tried in court.