Chidambaram gets breather from Delhi court in Aircel Maxis case

SansadTV Bureau
New Delhi: Former finance and home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi.  PTI

New Delhi: Former finance and home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi.

A Delhi special court has directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to take any “coercive action” against former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in Aircel Maxis alleged money laundering case. Chidambaram had moved court seeking protection from arrest in the matter.

The senior Congress leader moved his plea for anticipatory bail before Special Judge OP Saini, who directed Chidambaram to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 5 as already summoned by the agency.

The court, which issued notice to the ED seeking its reply by June 5, also directed the agency not to take any coercive action against Chidambaram in the matter till then.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Chidambaram, urged the court to grant him the relief considering the former minister has clean antecedents and deep roots in society.

In his plea, Chidambaram said all the evidence in the matter appears to be documentary in nature which is already in the possession of the incumbent government and nothing was to be recovered from him.

However, special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, opposed Chidambaram’s plea saying he did not join the investigation today, for which the ED had already issued summons.

The court has already granted interim protection from arrest till July 10 to the former minister’s son Karti Chidambaram in two cases filed by the CBI and ED in 2011 and 2012, respectively in the Aircel-Maxis matter arising out of 2G spectrum cases.

The relief was granted to Karti after the ED sought time to argue on his application seeking anticipatory bail.

The matter pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd for investment in Aircel.

(With inputs from PTI)