New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the deadline for CBI and ED to complete the probe in the 2G spectrum allocation cases and the alleged irregularities in FIPB approval to the Aircel-Maxis deal by three more months.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been questioned by the agencies during the ongoing probe.The apex court in March this year had set a deadline of six months for CBI and ED to complete the probe.The issue of FIPB clearance in the the Aircel-Maxis deal had surfaced during the probe into the 2G spectrum related cases.
The SC order comes two days after ED's objection on Karti's foreign travel. ED had on Monday told the apex court that Karti was using the liberty granted by the court to protract the investigation in the cases against him. However, the SC on Tuesday allowed senior Karti to travel to the UK from September 20 to September 30.
On January 4 this year, the apex court had directed the Centre to file a status report on the probe being conducted in the Aircel-Maxis deal case. P Chidambaram was questioned by the CBI in the case on December 6, 2014, while Karti was questioned on November 19, 2014.
The CBI had said in its charge sheet in the Aircel-Maxis case that Chidambaram had granted FIPB approval in March 2006 to Mauritius-based M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Maxis, owned by Ananda Krishnan, who is also an accused in the case.
The CBI had claimed that M/s Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd had sought Foreign Investement Promotion Board (FIPB) approval for 800 million USD for which only the CCEA was competent, but Chidambaram had given approval to the firm in March 2006.
However, the CBI and ED cases in the Aircel-Maxis deal could not withhold judicial scrutiny as the special 2G court had in February last year discharged Dayanidhi Maran, his industrialist brother Kalanithi Maran and others saying the alleged charges were based on "misreading of official files", speculation and surmises of the complainant.
Though the court has discharged Marans and others in the case, further probe by CBI regarding FIPB approval is still going on. Similarly, the ED is carrying out separate probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
With PTI Inputs