KARTI RE­FUSES TO AP­PEAR BE­FORE CBI IN AIR­CEL MAXIS CASE

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NEW DELHI: Karti Chi­dambaram on Thurs­day re­fused to ap­pear be­fore the CBI in the Air­cel Maxis case say­ing a spe­cial court had dis­charged all the ac­cused and ter­mi­nated pro­ceed­ings in the mat­ter, a claim strongly con­tra­dicted by the CBI which said that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was still on.

The agency had called Karti for ques­tion­ing on Thurs­day in con­nec­tion with the for­eign in­vest­ment clear­ance given in 2006 in the Air­cel Maxis deal when his fa­ther P Chi­dambaram was the Fi­nance Min­is­ter. Karti, through his lawyer, has re­fused to ap­pear be­fore the agency say­ing a spe­cial court had dis­charged “all the ac­cused” in the mat­ter.

“All pro­ceed­ings con­nected with the said (case)... were also ter­mi­nated,” the re­sponse said.

“The re­sponse has been re­ceived by the CBI to­day at 10.30 am through a courier ser­vice. The re­sponse has also been sent through fax and email,” Karti’s lawyer Arun Natara­jan said on phone.

The re­sponse said af­ter the dis­charge of the ac­cused and “ter­mi­na­tion” of the pro­ceed­ings, the CBI will not have ju­ris­dic­tion to is­sue a sum­mons in con­nec­tion with the case. The CBI strongly con­tra­dicted claims of Karti say­ing only four, in­clud­ing two com­pa­nies, of the eight charge sheeted ac­cused were dis­charged by the spe­cial court and the agency has al­ready filed an ap­peal against the or­der in the Delhi High Court in May this year.

“FIR RC-22(A)/2011-DLI has not been quashed by the court and fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der 173(8) of the CRPC is con­tin­u­ing,” CBI Spokesper­son Ab­hishek Dayal said here on Thurs­day.

He said two Malaysian na­tion­als and two Malaysian com­pa­nies who were charge sheeted by the CBI in the mat- ter did not ap­pear be­fore the spe­cial court and war­rants were is­sued against the in­di­vid­u­als.

“Court pro­ceed­ings are still pend­ing. Re­quest has been placed be­fore the In­ter­pol for is­suance of Red No­tices against the two Malaysian na­tional,” Dayal said. The CBI sources said all the op­tions are open be­fore them in the mat­ter. They said that ex­am­i­na­tion also gives sus­pects a chance to put forth their case be­fore the agency.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in grant­ing for­eign in­vest­ment ap­proval to Global Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ser­vices Hold­ings Ltd for in­vest­ment in Air­cel is still go­ing on, the CBI sources said.

They said the agency is also look­ing into in­vest­ments made by firms con­trolled by Karti Chi­dambaram into Air­cel while the FIPB clear­ance is­sue was un­der the con­sid­er­a­tion of the Fi­nance Min­istry.

In Au­gust 2014, the CBI had charge sheeted for­mer Tele­com min­is­ter Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi, Malaysian busi­ness ty­coon T Ananda Kr­ish­nan, Malaysian na­tional Ralph Mar­shall and four firms-- Sun Di­rect TV Pvt Ltd, South Asia En­ter­tain­ment Hold­ing Ltd, Maxis Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ber­had and AS­TRO All Asia Net­work PLC.

In an or­der on Fe­bru­ary 2 this year, the spe­cial CBI court had dis­charged Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi, Sun Di­rect TV Pvt Ltd and South Asia En­ter­tain­ment Hold­ing Ltd say­ing the charges were with­out any “le­gal ba­sis”.

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