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Aircel Maxis case against Chidambarams lingering on unnecessarily'

IANS | December 02, 2020 05:49 PM

NEW DELHI: "It is lingering on unnecessarily, " a Delhi court said on Wednesday even as it granted more time to the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to obtain report on Letters Rogatory form the UK and Singapore in relation to their ongoing probe in the Aircel-Maxis case against former Union Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar adjourned the matter, which is at the stage of taking cognizance, for February 1. The agencies have sought adjournment of the matter several times earlier as well.

The court allowed the request for more time after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the CBI and ED, informed that the LRs have been sent to the countries and report on it is awaited.

"Two LRs were sent - one to Singapore and another to the UK. There is no progress on the LR sent to UK but Singapore has raised queries regarding the nature and assistance sought by the ED. It is in the process of finalising the response to their queries, " Additional Solicitor General told the court.

"We seem to be quite close to receiving response on LR sent to Singapore. One adjournment may be given so that we can come back to you with a more positive answer, " Sanjay Jain added.

To this, the Judge retorted, "It is lingering on unnecessarily" even as he granted more time.

Letters Rogatory is a formal communication in writing sent by the Court in which action is pending to a foreign court requesting judicial assistance. The most common remedies sought by letters rogatory are service of process and taking of evidence.

The case relates to alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The approval was granted in 2006 when P. Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister.

According to rules and the foreign direct investment policy in force at that time, Chidambaram was allegedly empowered to give approval to proposals involving foreign investment only up to Rs 600 crore.

The CBI and the ED had alleged that Chidambaram, as finance minister had granted approval to the deal beyond his capacity benefiting certain persons and received kickbacks.

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