Chidambaram's son owns illegal accounts, says Subramanian Swamy; Karti denies charge
Karti Chidambaram is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with Aircel-Maxis deal.
New Delhi: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday alleged that former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's son, Karti, owned 21 "illegal" foreign bank accounts - either in his name or in the name of his companies - having a total wealth of around Rs six lakh crore.
Karti Chidambaram dismissed the allegations as "outrageous claims" and said his personal and family assets were duly reflected in the Income Tax filings.
Talking to reporters here, Swamy made public the details of what he claimed were 21 foreign bank accounts owned by Karti and his companies, and demanded his prosecution under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
"It is shocking that the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate having been provided with the details of 21 undeclared foreign accounts of Karti Chidambaram and of the companies he controls have failed to proceed," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
"He must have easily amassed a total of Rs 6 lakh crore in foreign accounts."
According to the details shared by Swamy, Karti personally held an account in Metro Bank in Britain while his companies held accounts at Barclays Bank in Monaco, Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, OCBC in Singapore, HSBC in Britain, Deutsche Bank in France, UBS in Switzerland and Wells Fargo Bank in California.
Swamy alleged that Karti in his election affidavit for 2014 Lok Sabha polls, mentioned nothing about any foreign account and had still not declared his personal foreign account in his annual Income Tax statements.
He also demanded action against P Chidambaram for giving clearance to an "illegal" Aircel-Maxis deal.
"In Aircel-Maxis case, P Chidambaram illegally permitted the sale of 100 percent shares of an Indian company, Aircel, to a Malaysian company (Maxis) when legally, the limit was 74 per cent. That Malaysian company, through many other companies, gave a bribe to Karti," Swamy alleged.
He said according to Prevention of Corruption Act, if a public authority permits someone else to get "illegal pecuniary benefits" against the public interest, then that public authority, even without accepting a bribe, was guilty.
"Karti-floated company, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd, involved in receiving kickbacks in Aircel-Maxis scam is having four accounts in a bank in Singapore, namely OCBC for many years."
The BJP leader said Karti had already been raided by Enforcement Directorate.
Alleging that Finance Ministry was protecting P. Chidambaram and his son, Swamy said: "Despite refusing three summons, Enforcement Directorate hasn`t got political sanction to arrest him (Karti)."
Swamy said he also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
"It is painful that for every small matter, I have to write him a letter... It is a sad situation in our country that Finance Ministry bureaucracy is blocking all the prosecutions for which agencies have done their homework and are ready for taking action."
Asked if Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was protecting Chidambaram, Swamy said: "I can`t really say anything about that. But it will become clear if he (Jaitley) still doesn`t act."
Karti, however, rejected the claims and said: "Some outrageous claims have been made about me. My filings are up to date and completely in compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements."
"My family`s and my assets are duly reflected in our Income Tax filings. My companies have made all declarations as required by statutory requirements," he tweeted.