"Comedy Of Errors," Says P Chidambaram After Raids At His Chennai, Delhi Homes

Aircel-Maxis case: P Chidambaram said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids were a reaction to the notices sent out by the Supreme Court, which heard the appeal of his son yesterday. Karti Chidambaram, a 46-year-old businessman and Congress member, had questioned the cases filed against him by the investigators.

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'Comedy Of Errors,' Says P Chidambaram After Raids At His Chennai, Delhi Homes

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Aircel-Maxis case: P Chidambaram and son Karti Chidambaram were not in Chennai when the raids occurred

Chennai: 

Highlights

  1. Official sources: Raids conducted in Delhi, Chennai since early morning
  2. Both Mr Chidambaram and son Karti are not in Chennai
  3. Raids in connection with Aircel-Maxis money laundering case
The Chennai and Delhi homes of former Union minister P Chidambaram was raided by a team of Enforcement Directorate today. The raid - which took place when both Mr Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were out of town -- was in connection with the money laundering investigation in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case, reported news agency PTI. Mr Chidambaram has questioned the agency's jurisdiction to investigate the matter.

The former Union minister said the raids were a reaction to the notices sent out by the Supreme Court, which heard the appeal of his son yesterday. Karti Chidambaram, a 46-year-old businessman and Congress member, had questioned the cases filed against him by the investigators.  

"There is no FIR (First Information Report) in respect of a scheduled crime registered by any police or agency including the CBI," Mr Chidambaram said. "In absence of a scheduled offence, there are obviously no proceeds of crime and therefore the ED has no jurisdiction to probe the matter under PMLA (the Prevention of Money Laundering Act)," he added.

The minister said he anticipated his house in Chennai will be searched again, "but in a comedy of errors they came to Jor Bagh (in Delhi) and officers told me that they thought Karti is an occupant of this house, but he is not. I am the occupant". The officials, he added, went away with some papers, which was a copy of one of his speeches in parliament.

The case is linked to an approval granted by Foreign Investment Promotion Board to Aircel-Maxis in 2006, during Mr Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.

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The agency said the finance minister could project proposals only up to Rs. 600 crore. Bigger proposals are referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. In this case, the Rs 3,500 crore proposal was cleared without an approval from the cabinet committee, the agency said.

The agency has said it is looking into the "circumstances" in which approval was given. Karti Chidambaram is accused of facilitating bribes. The agency said he has closed certain bank accounts and attempted to close others "to frustrate the process of attachment" under the PMLA.

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