Says he was quizzed but there is no FIR, no offence is alleged.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday questioned former finance minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram for over six hours in connection with the agency’s probe pertaining to Rs 3,500 crore Aircel-Maxis deal case. It was the second time when the Congress leader joined the probe. Earlier, the ED questioned him on June 5 for over six hours.
According to sources, the senior Congress leader arrived at the ED office here shortly before 11 am and left after 5 pm.
Soon after, Mr Chidambaram tweeted, “Another round of questions by ED in Aircel-Maxis case. I remind myself that there is no FIR and no offence is alleged”. Officials said the investigating officer of the case recorded Mr Chidambaram’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday.
It is understood that the agency put across a fresh set of questions to the Congress leader regarding the Aircel-Maxis deal and on decisions taken by him in connection with this case. The agency had last time recorded his statement for six hours on various aspects.
The ED had also recorded statements of FIPB officials when this deal took place and it is understood that Mr Chidambaram was confronted with those details. Certain specific queries on circumstances and procedures adopted by the now-defunct Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) while giving approval to the Aircel-Maxis deal during his tenure were reported to have been put across to him last time, sources said.
Mr Chidambaram’s son Karti has already been questioned by the ED in this case, twice. After leaving the ED office on June 5, Mr Chidambaram had tweeted that all answers he gave to the probe agency were already recorded in government documents.
He had also said that there is no FIR, yet a probe had been initiated. Chidambaram, who also served as home minister during the UPA regime, earlier had approached the court of Special Judge O.P. Saini seeking relief from arrest by the ED in the case.
The court had then directed the ED not to take any coercive action or arrest him till July 10 in connection with the case. The ED had first asked him to appear before it on May 30 and on the same day, Chidambaram knocked the court’s door. The Aircel-Maxis cases pertains to grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to firm M/S Global Communication Holding Services Ltd in 2006 for investment in Aircel.