PC faces CBI raids over alleged irregularities in FIPB approvals

RSTV Bureau

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) early on tuesday conducted searches at the residence of former union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and his son Karti in connection with alleged criminal misconduct in grant of FIPB approval to a private media firm INX during the UPA regime in the year 2007.

The raids were conducted at several locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram and Chennai.

Reacting to the developments, the former Union minister alleged the Central government of using its agencies to target him and his son.

“The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends… The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations,” he said.

Defending the decision of FIPB, Chidambaram said FIPB approval was granted in “hundreds of cases.”

Each case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIPB consisting of five secretaries to the Government of India, he said.

P-Chidambaram

While the CBI did not make it clear whether a separate case has been registered, the agency sources confirmed the searches at Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram and Chennai. “The searches are related to alleged criminal misconduct in the grant of FIPB approval for investment in a private firm,” said a CBI official.

The agency had recently registered a case regarding Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to a company in which it is alleged that favours were given when P Chidambaram was the finance minister.

The Enforcement Directorate is also probing various aspects of the Aircel-Maxis case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. However, a source said the ongoing searches were not directly related to Aircel-Maxis case.

The Supreme Court in April had asked the CBI to file a status report on the probe being carried out on various aspects of the Aircel-Maxis deal.