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Fully Cooperated in Aircel-Maxis Case, Karti Chidambaram Tells Delhi Court

Karti told the court that he has fully cooperated with the investigation and has appeared before investigation agency on as many as six occasions after the interim order of March 24.


Updated:September 18, 2018, 11:28 PM IST
Fully Cooperated in Aircel-Maxis Case, Karti Chidambaram Tells Delhi Court
File photo of Karti Chidambaram. (PTI)

New Delhi: Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, told a Delhi court Tuesday that ED's plea seeking the cancellation of interim protection from arrest to interrogate him in custody in the Aircel-Maxis case was "misconceived and baseless".

Karti told the court that he has fully cooperated with the investigation and has appeared before investigation agency on as many as six occasions after the interim order of March 24.

"On each of these occasions, the accused was questioned at length for about 8-10 hours every day. These questions were mostly "fishing and roving" and had no connection to the FIPB or anything to do with Aircel-Maxis case," Karti told Special CBI judge O P Saini.

Refuting the allegation that he has not cooperated in the case, Karti said the Enforcement Directorate's contention was completely false and every summon issued in the matter has been duly replied to and there is not a single summon which remains unanswered.

On the issue of filing multiple pleas in various courts, Karti said that the ED's contention was "completely baseless" and he was entitled to approach courts of law for seeking legal relief.

He also refuted the charge of multiple visits to foreign countries and said the ground raised by the agency was illegal as he travelled abroad after seeking permission from the Supreme Court.

Karti denied that S Bhaskaraman was his key aide and told the court that he is an independent chartered accountant.

He also denied the allegation that he was trying to take advantage of the interim protection granted to him and has been trying to frustrate the time period of investigation by avoiding investigation.

"The accused has always cooperated with the investigation and is willing to cooperate in future and shall abide by all the conditions imposed on him," Karti said in his affidavit.

The court has now posted the matter for hearing on September 25.

The ED had earlier told the court that the interim protection was granted on March 24, 2018 on the condition that Karti will appear before the investigating officer as and when directed and join the probe, alleging that he has violated the condition.

The agency alleged that Karti was not cooperating with the investigation, which was one of the conditions imposed on him while granting the interim relief.

The agency told the court that the probe regarding FDI approval was continuing.

In its plea, the ED said that even during investigation, Karti had either remained silent or answered after consulting his lawyers.

Maintaining that the apex court had directed it to complete the investigation within six months, that is by September 12, the ED alleged that the actions of the accused were "nothing but dilatory tactics" to bypass the attempt to complete probe within the time frame.

On August 7, the court had extended till October 8 the interim protection from arrest granted to P Chidambaram and Karti in the Aircel-Maxis cases filed by the CBI and the ED for the alleged offences of corruption and money laundering respectively. They were named in the charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case on July 19.

The ED is also probing a separate money-laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter and a charge sheet was filed against Karti by the agency on July 13.

Chidambaram and Karti have been questioned by the ED on various occasions, even though the politician has not been arrayed as an accused. Both have denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.

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